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

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Legislative Update

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dear Neighbor,

The House adjourned sine die Sunday evening, officially concluding the regular 2016 legislation session. One of the biggest accomplishments of the session was the significant tax relief bill that we sent the governor for signature that includes more than half a billion dollars in permanent and ongoing tax relief.

The tax bill, which provides more than $800 million in taxpayer relief over the next three years, lets hardworking taxpayers in Wright County keep more of their hard earned money from families to college students to small businesses.

Highlights in the bill include:

  • $90.6 million in agriculture property tax relief for Minnesota farmers
  • $110 million in tax relief for college graduates paying off student loans through a refundable tax credit up to $1,000, the first-of-its-kind in the country
  • $49 million in tax relief for families who contribute to 529 Plans to save for their children's college costs
  • $146 million in property tax relief for every small business in the state by exempting the first $100,000 of commercial-industrial property
  • $13 million in tax relief for veterans by raising the income eligibility threshold, and increasing the total credit from $750 to $1,000
  • $150 million in tax relief for working families by expanding the working family tax credit
  • $32 million to reduce the cost of childcare; by expanding the childcare tax credit, families could earn a tax credit up to $960

Additionally, in a supplemental spending bill, two additional tax credits were included for veterans and business investment. The first is a big win for more than 18,000 Minnesota veterans who will see their military retirement pay now exempted from state income tax. The other is $10 million for the Angel Investor Tax Credit to help grow good paying jobs across the state.

Overall, House Republicans led the way on providing substantial tax relief for Minnesotans this session, and I am hopeful that Governor Dayton soon signs the bill into law.

On Sunday, the House also passed a bonding bill which included $695.5 million in funding for roads and bridges on a bipartisan vote of 91 to 39. Unfortunately, in a last minute political stunt, the Senate DFL majority blocked the bill and prevented funding from going to important transportation projects statewide.

Roads and Bridges were a shared priority across the state, and I am disappointed Senate Democrats attempted to amend light rail into the bill in the last few minutes of session after we believed to have a bipartisan agreement on comprehensive funding for vital transportation infrastructure projects.

There has been some discussion of a possible special session to complete the transportation bonding bill, and I will keep you updated if that moves forward.

Even though we are now adjourned, please know that if you need assistance on an issue pertaining to state government, my office is available to you. You can e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or call my office at 651-296-5063. You can also write a letter to me. My office address at the Capitol is 549 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.