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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe McDonald (R)

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Update from St. Paul

Friday, March 31, 2017


Budget work is full speed ahead in the House and Thursday we approved a bill providing $1.35 billion in tax relief over the next two years, including a $270 million reduction on the state tax on Social Security income.

It is the first House omnibus finance bill to receive a floor vote this session, something that underscores the House Republicans’ commitment to providing tax relief. The House’s proposed tax reduction in H.F. 4 is larger than plans offered by either the Senate or Gov. Mark Dayton.

The reason the state has a surplus is because taxpayers has overpaid. The plan we put forward would benefit everyone from families with young ones in child care, to senior citizens, Main Street businesses, farmers, college students and beyond. Our taxpayers have been clobbered by the state for too long. They deserve some breathing room and the House proposal provides it.

Other provisions in the bill include:

  • $203 million to reduce the extra state property tax on small businesses, exempting the first $200,000 in property value from the extra tax on businesses and freezing its automatic inflator.
  • $35 million going toward modifying the child and dependent care credit. A family of four with childcare expenses would be estimated to receive $660 in relief.
  • More than $125 million would go toward addressing college affordability.
  • $42 million to reduce the burden agriculture land owners pay for school bond referendums.
  • $100 million in direct property tax relief for homeowners and renters.
  • Full funding for Local Government Aid/County Program Aid at current levels.

We expect to vote on several other budget bills over the next week’s time, including transportation and K-12 education yet today. Look for more news on the budget bills as they advance.

In the meantime, on a non-budget note, the House also provided final approval this week for the Minnesota Premium Security Plan (H.F. 5), which establishes a state-based reinsurance program which could reduce rates by 20 percent. The bill also aims to expand access by requiring health insurance plans to offer in-network access to more than one health care provider system which will expand the level of access Minnesotans have to health providers.

The goal of this bill is to ensure that Minnesotans with the greatest medical needs will be taken care of while also potentially reducing premium rates.



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