It has been another busy week at the Capitol, and we ended session Thursday night with a bipartisan vote to repeal several of the harmful business-to-business taxes passed in 2013. Rectifying the mistakes of last years legislature and repealing the sales taxes on warehousing storage, commercial and farm equipment repairs and telecommunications would be fantastic news for Minnesota.
In our district, I heard from so many constituents concerned about these taxes especially the warehousing storage tax which, if not signed into law by Governor Dayton soon, will be implemented in April. Companies in our district are looking at building new facilities in Wisconsin and Iowa instead of facing the higher tax on storage in Minnesota.
Also in the bill passed last night were changes to Minnesotas tax code, conforming the state to several federal provisions. Republicans strongly encouraged federal conformity last year because it simplifies your tax returns and means more of your hard earned money stays in your pocket.
The DFL could have done even more however, still not passing the Increased Standard Deduction for married joint filers or allowing the Eligible Expense Limit for Dependent Care Credit which would have saved families an additional $200 a year.
Changes to the tax code are now in the hands of the Minnesota Senate, and I hope they follow suit and pass this bill soon. The effects are costing our state jobs and threatening our already fragile economic recovery. The legislature and governor owe it to the people of Minnesota to undo last years mistakes and create certainty for job creators and taxpayers.
Additionally this week, two bills I authored are moving through the committee process. The first, House File 2012, was brought to me by constituents and allows students with disabilities to transfer from one public school to another without losing a year of eligibility under the Minnesota State High School League rules.
For students with disabilities, extracurricular activities have a positive impact on their lives, and I want to ensure that a school transfer does not take away their opportunity to participate. The bill has bipartisan support and passed the Education Policy Committee on Wednesday.
House File 2233, a bill to attract retired veterans to Minnesota, also passed this week with bipartisan support in the State Government Finance and Veterans Affairs Committee. Veterans who are retired after twenty or more years of service, or who are retired for medical reasons, can reduce their income for tax purposes by $1500 for every year of service.
Of the 377,000 veterans in Minnesota, this would only affect about 18,000. Incentives to bring these skilled men and women to our state means they bring their families here, buy homes here, work here and pay taxes here. Its a win for veterans and a win for our state.
Finally, I attended the Future Farmers of America legislative reception Monday night, and it was fantastic to meet so many bright students from my district and across the state!
As the second week of session comes to an end, I will continue to work hard for you in St. Paul. If I can ever be of assistance to you on a matter of state government, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for the honor and privilege of being your state representative.