Last week the House passed legislation that would bring Minnesota’s tax code in alignment with some provisions of the federal tax code in year 2013 with other major provisions becoming effective for tax year 2014. This bill would also repeal the sales tax on commercial/industrial repair as well as telecommunications machinery and equipment starting June 30, 2013. The sales tax on warehousing and storage would also be repealed on the day following final enactment.
As co-chair of the House Small Business Caucus, I’m happy we were able to vote to repeal these onerous taxes on hardworking Minnesotans. However, let us not forget that it was the Democrats who hastily passed these tax increases during the final days of the 2013. Enacting these taxes has caused uncertainty for job creators and headaches for families over the past year. Now the House bill moves to the Senate. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as to how and when the Senate acts.
While the bill is a step in the right direction, it did not go far enough for the hardworking taxpayers of Minnesota. Absent from this bill were two conformity provisions for tax years 2013:
· Increased Standard Deduction for married joint filers which would have saved 640,000 married couples for an average $112 per return
· Increased Eligible Expense Limit for Dependent Care Credit which would have saved 26,000 working moms and dads on an average of $80 per return.
I’ve heard from some constituents asking about what’s happening with the estate tax. Last week, Governor Dayton proposed a supplemental budget that included simplifying the estate tax and eliminating the gift tax. Specifically, he seeks to raise the exemption for the estate tax from $1 million to $2 million. At this point, it’s unclear when the House will act on Governor Dayton’s proposal.
I continue to hear from job providers in our district who are concerned about the state imposing an increase in the minimum wage. As of right now, the House and Senate have agreed to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour but cannot agree whether to index the increase to inflation and negotiations appear to have stalled over that issue. On Monday, members of the Hospitality Industry came together to speak out against the proposed increase and expressed concerns about tiered wages (also known as a “tip credit”) not being included in the bill.
TRANSPORTATION & TRANSIT
Monday I attended the Wright County Transit Working Group. Trailblazer Transit, serving Sibley and McLeod Counties, and Trip-Cap presented to the Working Group what they could offer to Wright County as we move forward to reform our transit system. I am very encouraged that the transit needs for Wright County will be served as the Joint Powers Board for the transit system is reformed.
As always, you can contact me by e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-5063. You can also write a letter to me. My office address at the Capitol is 229 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.