The Docket: Republican tax bill passes Senate

The bill has been a primary focus for Republicans this session.
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 5:06 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 8, 2022 at 7:25 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) - On a 42-24 vote, the Republican-controlled Senate voted in favor Thursday on a tax bill that would reduce the state’s first tier income tax rate from 5.35 percent to 2.8 percent and eliminate income taxes on all social security benefits.

The bill has been a primary focus for Republicans this session.

Bill author Sen. Carla Nelson (R - Rochester) pitches timing in arguing for the bill, which she said would return money to taxpayers.

“This largest tax relief bill ever, permanent, on-going tax relief bill, comes at a time when our state budget is overflowing, $9.25 billion more than projected, more than are needed expenses for our current budget,” she said.

Nelson said a couple who makes $100,000 would see $1,000 in tax relief.

The bill had some bipartisan support, but many Democrats, like Sen. Nick Frentz (DFL - North Mankato), voted against it.

“I was a no vote for a couple of reasons, but the primary reasons were two, one, it did not give the 540,000 Minnesotans who are at the bottom of the income tax filers a single penny. Two, it gave far too much to the highest Minnesotan income earners. I did not think that was the best use of the state’s $9 billion surplus,” he said.

The main difference between DFL and Republican plans is how they want to spend that surplus, Frentz said.

“The main thing that the Democrats are asking for is to see that the benefit of that money goes equally to all Minnesotans and also that it is used to help lower the cost of Minnesotan’s daily lives. Housing, childcare, energy costs have gone up and [we want] targeted tax breaks for working men and women,” said Frentz.

The DFL-controlled House has its own tax proposal.

Gov. Walz’s proposal for one-time payments of $500 per individual and $1,000 per married couple did not make the cut.

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