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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Marion Rarick (R)

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Tax Relief and Transportation on the Agenda for a Short 2016 Session

Monday, February 15, 2016

Thanks to fiscal restraint by House Republicans last year, there is a significant surplus available when the legislature reconvenes next month. With that money, I plan to support two key initiatives that will benefit Minnesotans in our community and across the state: middle-class tax relief and transportation.

First, with a surplus on the table for 2016, it's clear that state government collected too much from hard-working taxpayers, and I want to see that returned to you. 

Last session, House Republicans passed a $2 billion middle-class tax relief bill that benefits taxpayers across the board. Our legislation phases-out the income tax on social security and veteran pensions, helping aging adults living on a fixed income. It creates new personal and dependent exemptions, increases education deductions and provides new credits for college loan payments to help middle-class Minnesotans. Furthermore, it encourages entrepreneurial innovation and business start-ups in our state with additional research and development tax credits.

All of these important initiatives, plus many more, are in our tax legislation which is currently sitting in conference committee awaiting negotiations with the DFL-controlled Senate. I look forward to making tax relief a top legislative priority this session, and will be advocating for returning your hard-earned tax dollars to you. 

In addition to tax relief, transportation legislation is also an important priority this session. As you may recall, last year, Governor Dayton refused to pass a transportation bill that did not include a gas tax increase. This harmful wholesale gas tax increase would have cost families hundreds of dollars more per year and was a non-starter for Republican legislators in the House. Thankfully, the governor has now backed off his plan which would have raised more than $9 billion in new taxes, making way for a road and bridge improvement bill this session.

Like the House Republican tax legislation, we also have a comprehensive 10-year, $7 billion transportation bill sitting in conference committee waiting to be acted upon. The Road and Bridge Act provides a long-term investment in transportation improvements without a harmful gas tax increase. It's a common-sense solution that will help fix 15,000 lane miles and 320 bridges statewide. What's more, investing in transportation is necessary in order to complete the I-94 expansion between St. Michael and Albertville, a critical project for commuters and commerce in our part of the state, and an issue I have been working on for several years. 

Lastly, beyond transportation and middle-class tax relief, there is a third priority that I will be spearheading this session—ending unethical research using aborted fetal tissue at the University of Minnesota. In recent months, it has come to light that the university purchases aborted fetal tissue, something that is immoral for any institution, in my opinion, but especially one funded with taxpayer dollars. There are currently a few proposals in the works to end this research, and I will keep you updated on the issue when legislation is officially introduced. 

Finally, I want to hear from people in our community about their priorities for state government. Please do not hesitate to contact me ( or 651-296-5063) if you have ideas or input on legislation. It is an honor to serve you in the Minnesota House!

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