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

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Harmful Business-to-Business Taxes Repealed in House

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friends and Neighbors,

It has been another busy week here at the Capitol, and I am pleased to announce that the House ended the week by repealing the harmful business-to-business taxes Democrats passed in 2013. These taxes include a sales tax on warehousing and storage, equipment repair and telecommunication equipment.

After repeated warnings last year about the detrimental economic effects these taxes would have on businesses in Minnesota, Democrats still chose to pass them as part of a historic $2.1 billion tax increase. There is now bipartisan support for repeal in the House as we see businesses leaving or expanding across the border in Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas as a direct result.

In addition to repealing the harmful business-to-business taxes, the bill also conforms Minnesota’s tax code to some federal provisions, providing hardworking Minnesotans with important financial deductions on their state income taxes. Unfortunately, Democrats rejected Republican attempts to include Dependent Care Credits for working parents and undo the penalty for married filers. If those amendments had succeeded, Minnesota families could have an extra $200 in their pockets for expenses like groceries, gas or heating bills.

The next stop for the bill is the Minnesota Senate. I am hopeful they will pass it soon and Governor Dayton will sign the tax repeals and federal conformity into law.

When the state passed these tax increases last year, DFL legislators and Governor Dayton promised that Minnesotans would see a real decrease in local property taxes in 2014. With many of you receiving your property tax statements for the year, we know this is a promise broken.

$425 million in new money was sent to local governments in 2013 in an attempt to lower property taxes for residents. Now, the Minnesota Department of Revenue is reporting Minnesotans are facing the highest property tax levy in state history—rising $125 million statewide. In Isanti County, the county levy was increased 6.6 percent over last year.

After the state increased a plethora of taxes and fees in 2013, hardworking taxpayers like you and I can’t afford to keep paying more in property taxes. Government needs to live within its means and get spending under control.

Finally, this week I introduced a bill that prevents Minnesota state agencies from suing one another. House File 2623 is a commonsense bill that will save taxpayer money and force agencies to work out disputes without our courts system. In the bill, all dispute resolutions will be paid for by the agencies involved. I hope to gain bipartisan support for the bill and have it signed into law this year.

As another week of session comes to a close, I look forward to continuing to fight for your interests in St. Paul and passing legislation for the good of all Minnesotans.

If I can ever assist you on a matter of state government, please do not hesitate to contact me.