Here is this week's roundup from the House, starting with notes on legislation I have co-authored to fully repeal the state tax on Social Security, providing some breathing room for seniors – particularly those on fixed incomes.
Minnesota is one of just 12 states that still tax Social Security benefits. With a $17.6 billion state budget surplus, and price increases straining family budgets, the time is right for a full repeal. That is why I am co-authoring H.F. 516 to do so.
Let’s not be proud of the fact Minnesota is an extreme outlier as one of the final states to still place an added financial burden on senior citizens for no good reason. It’s often said that budgets are moral documents. If that indeed is true, it would be quite the indictment of Democrats in St. Paul if they blow through a nearly $18 billion surplus, increase the state budget by 25 percent as the governor proposes – and still neglect to fully eliminate an unjust tax on our seniors.
Minnesota’s tax structure is unfriendly to retirees. Business and personal finance publisher Kiplinger lists Minnesota among its “not tax-friendly” states for retirees, indicating, “The North Star State offers cold comfort on the tax front to retirees.”
Reports indicate our population growth has stagnated, with net domestic migration resulting in around 19,000 more people leaving our state than moved into it last year. There are many reasons to like Minnesota, but its tax structure is not one of them. While other factors – such as winter weather – have impacts, our onerous tax code is something to keep in mind as well.
This underscores the importance of improving our state in areas the Legislature actually can control and fully eliminating the state tax on Social Security would be a step in the right direction. A full repeal would benefit 473,000 people with an average tax savings of $1,276. In contrast, Gov. Tim Walz’s budget proposal doesn’t fully repeal the state Social Security tax, with only 43% of Minnesotans receiving some form of relief – on average, $278 per household.
Democrats signaled they were all-in for a repeal of the Social Security tax last fall but now, more than a month in to the 2023 session, bills related to this subject have languished in the House.
We stirred up a hornet’s nest during a committee meeting on public safety this week (video). An amendment fellow House Republican seatmate Rep. Novotny offered to prohibit a grant recipient from engaging in partisan politics drove a wedge between Democrat members.
Why? Shouldn’t organizations receiving taxpayer money be prohibited from partisan politics?
Connecting Democrats’ extreme abortion dots
I was thinking about the Democrats’ extreme position on abortion after they passed into law the nation’s most radical policy on this subject. There are some interesting dots to connect:
Democrats rejected licensure of abortion facilities.
Democrats now want to repeal parental notification.
Mandated reporter requirements don't apply to unlicensed facilities.
Thus, Democrats are enabling rapists and human traffickers.
Here’s a link to a quick video of me discussing this subject.
The ‘Magic Money Tree’
House Democrats say a lot of things that cause disbelief. It happens pretty much every day – often repeatedly. But something a House Democrat committee chair said this week just might be the leader in the clubhouse of the absurd.
We were in a House Children and Families Finance and Policy Committee meeting hearing about how House Democrats plan to spend $12 billion over the next four years on a government program they say will somehow fund itself. During that discussion, the Democrat committee chair actually said, “I just want to say there is a magic money tree.”
Dad was wrong!
It begs the question: If House Democrats have a magic money tree, why stop at spending $12 billion in taxpayer money? Why not spend $100 quadrillion so we can gain even more returns? Maybe that’s what House Democrats would need to finally walk the walk on eliminating the state tax on Social Security.
OK, enough absurdity for one day. Have a good weekend and please stay in touch. Click here for the “Magic Money Tree” committee video.