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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Brian Johnson (R)

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Legislative Update

Friday, March 31, 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Last week, House Republicans unveiled their budget targets which House committees used to put together their respective finance omnibus bills. From providing $1.35 billion in middle-class tax relief to limiting state spending growth, we looked to budget “The Minnesota Way,” and that means investing in our shared priorities and respecting the hardworking taxpayers of our state.

Tax Relief

Leading off our budget bills that we started debating and passing on the House Floor this week was the Tax Bill. As mentioned above, this legislation provides $1.35 billion in meaningful middle-class tax relief for families, seniors, farmers, hometown businesses and college graduates with student loan debt.

Some of the highlights in the bill include:

  • Increase to the income limit on which Social Security income is taxable which will put more money in the pockets of seniors living on a fixed income
  • Expansion of the dependent care credit to help families with childcare expenses
  • A first-in-the-nation tax credit for student loan payments
  • Expanded subtractions and credits for families saving for college with 529 Savings Plans
  • Relief for farmers by reducing the burden agriculture landowners pay for school bond referendums
  • Conforming the state death tax to the federal exclusion
  • Empowering local businesses to hire and expand by reducing the extra state property tax on businesses, exempting the first $200,000 of property value

In all, our tax bill will put substantial money back in the pockets of hardworking taxpayers who helped fund our state’s surplus, and I am pleased we are advancing tax relief this session.

Roads & Bridges

This week, the House is also advancing the Minnesota Road & Bridge Act which, with transportation-related bonding, will invest $6 billion into our transportation infrastructure over the next decade without raising the gas tax.

Highlights of the plan include $300 million in one-time Corridors of Commerce Funding  for key highway infrastructure projects, as well as $450 million into road and bridge infrastructure by redirecting existing taxes on transportation including taxes on auto parts, auto repairs and auto rentals. What’s more, we are continuing a popular program for Greater Minnesota that dedicates $12.5 million each year for small city road projects for communities with fewer than 5,000 residents.

Also this week in the Transportation Finance Committee, two bills I authored received hearings. The first is my legislation to designate a segment of Trunk Highway 65 in Isanti County as the Chip A. Imker Memorial Highway. The other bill funds desperately needed improvements to Highway 95 in our district.

With a significant surplus, we do not need to be raising taxes to fund priorities like roads, bridges and tax relief. I will keep you updated as House budget bills continue to move through the legislative process.


As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family on a matter of state government. I am here to serve you!

Have a wonderful weekend.