Testifying before the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee with Rick Evans, regional government affairs director at Xcel Energy. He was there to support my bill that would establish a carbon reduction facility designation for large electric generating facilities.
Here is an update from the Capitol.
Governor Dayton is proposing a supplemental budget that raises $1.4 billion in taxes on Minnesotans. An analysis done by his own Department of Revenue showed his plan would raise taxes on every income level—not just the rich like he claims—hitting households that make $32,000 or less the hardest. The governor is proposing reinstating more than $1 billion in health care tax increases, repealing tax reductions we passed last session, and other measures surrounding federal tax changes. I do not believe the governor is being honest about who his plan hurts. We need to get federal conformity done because I have little confidence in his executive agencies to handle complicated filings for millions of taxpayers if we don't pass federal conformity—just look at how his administration has handled MNLARS.
House Republicans, in contrast, unveiled their tax conformity plan this weekend, and our aim is to simplify and reduce taxes for Minnesotans. With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last year by Congress, federal tax conformity is very complex, but we want to get this done to ensure there aren’t unnecessary headaches and hassles for taxpayers next year.
Highlights in our plan include cutting the second-tier income tax rate from 7.05 percent to 6.75 percent by 2020, letting middle-class Minnesotans keep more of their hard-earned money. We also lower taxes for people of all income levels by increasing the standard deduction from $13,000 to $14,000. Third, we help families by protecting state personal and dependent exemptions of $4,150. To encourage affordable homeownership, our plan allows state-itemized deductions of up to $30,000 in property taxes. Finally, we support our hometown businesses by reinvesting extra revenue from corporate tax changes into Section 179 conformity and overall rate reductions.
Our goal is to hold as many Minnesotans as possible harmless, provide meaningful tax relief to taxpayers and simplify our tax code so people can take full advantage of state and federal tax relief.
House Republicans announced last week a plan that taps into excess funds from the Vikings Stadium Reserve Account, and uses that money to build three critically-needed veterans homes in Preston, Bemidji and Montevideo.
The House State Government Finance Bill included funding for these homes last session, but sadly that bill was vetoed by Governor Dayton. We are advancing these projects again because Minnesota veterans are a priority, and we want to ensure more servicemen and women are able to receive the care they need, as well give more veterans the opportunity to choose locations that are closer to the communities they call home. As a member of the House Veterans Committee, I am committed to caring for those who served our country and now need our respect and assistance.
As always, if you need assistance on an issue pertaining to state government or have concerns or ideas about legislation, 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.