By State Representative David Bly (DFL – Northfield)
After a productive start to the 2014 Legislative Session, state lawmakers are showing no signs of slowing down.
We are moving at a fast pace to continue to help individuals, families and businesses who have yet to share in our economic recovery.
Building on investments in education, housing, job creation and energy during the 2013 Session, I joined House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to cut $500 million in regressive taxes which affected middle class Minnesotans and small businesses during just our second week back at the state capitol.
House File 1777 addresses non-conformity between our state tax code and the federal tax code. It simplifies the filing process and reduces taxes for nearly 1 million Minnesotans, including married couples, low-income families, students and parents paying for college, and Minnesotans who have recently bought or sold a home. The bill also repeals three business-to-business taxes and provides a refund for taxes paid on commercial equipment repair, including farm equipment and any warehouse services.
The House tax conformity bill currently awaits a vote in the Senate. I am hopeful lawmakers will send Governor Dayton a final bill soon. Minnesotans are filing their taxes right now so time is of the essence.
Not long after House lawmakers quickly approved a middle class tax cut package, we received a new report from the non-partisan House Research Department showing that overall statewide property taxes are decreasing for the first time in over a decade, with homeowners paying $161 million less compared to last year.
After years of regressive property tax hikes that disproportionately hurt Minnesotans who could least afford it – like low-income families and seniors living on fixed incomes – I am pleased our state continues to move towards a tax system that is more progressive and fair while paying for the many needs and services vital to the health of our economy, such as safe and sturdy roads, high-quality schools, police officers and firefighters, clean water and a safe environment.
The Legislature’s new investments in direct property tax rebates and Local Government Aid (LGA) are a big reason why we are moving in the right direction. Minnesotans in our region are sharing in those benefits.
3,000 homeowners in Rice County will receive an average increase of $203 on their Homestead Credit Refund this year. 500 renters will receive an average increase of $149 on their Renter’s Credit. It is important to note that many Minnesotans will receive bigger refunds in addition to lower property tax rates. For example, property taxes for homeowners are dropping by 1.9 percent in Northfield, 2.3 percent in Lonsdale, 8.5 percent in Montgomery and 9.9 percent in Dundas.
You can check your eligibility for a property tax refund and download the application form (M1PR) by visiting the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website at www.revenue.state.mn.us. If I can be of any assistance, please contact me by phone at (651) 296-0171, by email at [email protected], or by postal mail at 559 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.