As we enter August, I hope you and your loved ones have found ways to remain cool and safe during these hottest days of summer. With the legislative session over for the year, I’ve had more time to connect with neighbors and community members in our district and attend as many summer events and local gatherings as I can.
As we look ahead to this late summer and fall, I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you as we continue our work together in our community and at the Capitol.
In the Community
Recently I’ve had the privilege of visiting Camp Ripley with my House Veterans & Military Affairs colleagues to view first-hand the important work that the Minnesota National Guard do to protect our state and country.
I also spent a wonderful evening with our South Minneapolis neighbors at Picnic in the Park! A huge thanks to the Hale-Page-Diamond Lake Community Association for organizing this great annual event!
New Laws in Effect August 1
On August 1st, there are several new laws taking effect. Two laws that I know many in our community are following closely are:
Legalization of Adult-Use Cannabis. Over the last three years, DFLers in the legislature have worked and listened to build a Minnesota-specific model for cannabis legalization. On August 1st, adults at least age 21 can possess or publicly transport 2 ounces of adult-use cannabis flower, and up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrates. Adults can also possess up to 2 pounds of adult-use cannabis flower in their homes. Additionally, criminal records of Minnesotans with petty misdemeanor and misdemeanor cannabis convictions will begin to be expunged.
Background Checks for Gun Purchase. We are in the middle of an epidemic of gun violence and extremism touching every community and region in America. Today, Minnesota law will now prohibit private transfers of pistols and semiautomatic military-style assault weapons without a firearms eligibility background check of the recipient. This is a hard-fought, common-sense change that will save lives and it is made possible by the organizing and outreach in communities across working of building a better, safer world for our kids.
Catalytic Converter Protections. Anyone buying a catalytic converter will have to keep detailed records of where they got it from, closing a previous loophole which led to a rise of thefts in recent years
Additional new laws that go into effect on August 1st include:
Warehouse worker safety protections
Bicyclist protections at stop signs
The CROWN Act, banning hair discrimination is banned
Columbus Day is replaced with Indigenous People’s Day, with one hour observed in schools
Election protections from secret spending
To read more from nonpartisan House Public Information and House Research about the new laws, click here.
Property Tax Refund Filings Due August 15
I know that property taxes have been rising for many households in recent years. Because of this, I prioritized using some of the state’s surplus to offer property tax cuts at the state level and put money back in the pockets of Minnesotans.
Here are some of the highlights:
We adjusted the special property tax refund so that if your property taxes increased by more than 6% from 2022 to 2023, you’ll qualify for a refund of up to $2,500, regardless of your income level.
We increased the Homestead Credit Refund and Renter’s Property Tax Refund by 20.572%.
We permitted homeowners who have an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) to qualify for homestead status and claim the Homestead Credit Refund.
We expanded the eligibility for the Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral program so more seniors can age in their homes.
I provide more detail about each program below. In some cases, you must file a Form M1PR by August 15 to qualify. In other cases, the Minnesota Department of Revenue will automatically adjust your refund to the higher amount.
Qualifying for the Special Property Tax Refund, Homestead Credit Refund, and Renter’s Property Tax Refund
Many taxpayers file Form M1PR when they submit their income tax return (Form M1) by the April 15 income tax filing deadline, but Form M1PR is not due until August 15.
If you have not filed 2022 Form M1PR yet: Review the 2022 Form M1PR instructions at bit.ly/2022M1PRinst to see if you qualify for these refunds. If you qualify, complete the 2022 Form M1PR. You should file, postmark, or drop off the form by August 15, 2023.
If you filed a 2022 Form M1PR before June 14, 2023: Whether you need to take any action depends on how you filed your return.
If the property is not classified as homestead on your property tax statement or you bought your home in 2022, you must apply for homestead status with the Anoka County Assessor’s Office and submit the application on or before December 31, 2023. At the time you apply for homestead status, request a signed statement saying that your application was approved. Include it with your Form M1PR.
Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program
This program allows senior citizens to defer a portion of their property taxes. It’s not a tax forgiveness program, but it does limit the maximum amount of property tax paid each year to 3% of total household income.
My colleagues and I at the Capitol recently modified the program so more people can qualify. This includes increasing the household income limit from $60,000 to $96,000 and reducing the number of years a homeowner must own and occupy the property from 15 years to 5 years.
These changes will apply for taxes payable in 2024 and beyond.
Stay in Touch
Thank you for your time, energy, and all you do to make our community a great place for everyone.
Please reach out and let us know about events and meetings you’d like me to attend. And always reach out to me with your input and ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance. My email is email@example.com or you are always welcome to call me at the Capitol at 651-296-4200 and follow my Facebook page for updates.
It’s an honor and a privilege to be your State Representative. I'm very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this year and look forward to the work we have ahead of us. Together we can create a stronger, brighter future for all Minnesotans!