Governor Dayton let time expire on a bipartisan tax relief bill Monday night, pocket vetoing legislation that would have provided more than $800 million in tax relief over the next three years, including half a billion in ongoing, permanent tax relief. This tax bill had overwhelming support from people in Wright County, and I want to thank everyone who contacted the governor's office and encouraged him to sign the measure.
The vetoed tax bill would have provided meaningful relief to middle-class families, farmers, veterans, college graduates and businesses across the state. It was supported by 89 percent of the legislature, passing 123-10 in the House and 55-12 in the Senate.
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
- Federal conformity provisions to allow Minnesotans to deduct education tuition expenses, mortgage insurance premiums, classroom expenses for teachers and more
Governor Dayton claims to have vetoed the tax bill over a drafting error and his request to restore a small sales tax exemption. House Republicans agreed to both demands and urged him to sign the tax bill. Especially with the drafting error, there is precedent to take legislative intent, but we also offered a Special Session to amend the tax relief bill if that gave him peace of mind. Instead, the governor also wanted a number of spending increases for his priority projects like Southwest Light Rail and tens of millions more for the University of Minnesota, choosing to play politics with your money and veto tax relief.
The governor had promised he would not hold the tax bill hostage to special session negotiations, and I am disappointed that he went back on his word. Lawmakers made every effort to negotiate on the tax bill with him, but instead he tried to use the bill as leverage for his own spending projects and hurt Minnesotans who would have benefited from meaningful tax relief.
Even though we are now adjourned, please know that if you need assistance 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.