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Minnesota Senate Republicans keep up push for permanent tax cuts at the Capitol

The proposals are likely to face opposition from Democrats who've proposed more targeted tax credits for groups that they say need them most.

Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester
Minnesota Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, on Feb. 24, 2022, introduces a Senate proposal to cut the state's lowest income tax bracket and to drop the tax on social security benefits during a news conference at the Minnesota Capitol complex.
Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service
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ST. PAUL — A Minnesota committee on Tuesday, May 10, teed up a roughly $8.65 billion tax bill for a vote in the Minnesota Senate on Wednesday, May 11.

Under the plan, Minnesotans would see the lowest state income tax bracket rate reduced — spurring a tax cut for most tax filers, regardless of their income — and those who receive Social Security benefits would no longer have to pay state tax on those benefits.

The Senate last month approved a similar plan. But Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, said that she hoped to tack on extra provisions to the bill, including $37 million in property tax credits and $142 million in other relief provisions after holding additional hearings this spring.

"The Senate tax bill before us today is a bill that will empower Minnesotans who are so strapped right now by historic inflation, historic gas prices eating away at their paychecks,” Nelson said. “This bill will immediately get ongoing permanent tax relief to Minnesotans.”

The Senate Committee on Taxes advanced the amended bill Tuesday on a voice vote. The bill is expected to pick up support in the Republican-led Senate.

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But from there, its path forward is less certain.

Members of the Minnesota House of Representatives last week approved a $3.25 billion plan to set up new tax credits and cuts targeted at groups Democrats said could most use the help, including parents with kids in child care, property owners, renters and those with student loan debt.

Lawmakers from that chamber and from the Senate will be chosen to convene a conference committee to blend the two proposals into a compromise that can appease both Democrats and Republicans.

Over the next week and a half, lawmakers will take on their proposals to return tax funds, and boost state spending to education, health and human services programs, public safety organizations and more.

The state has about $7 billion in budget surplus funding left to decide how to spend. And legislative leaders, along with Gov. Tim Walz, for days, have met in private to try to set a framework for how lawmakers should send out that funding.

MORE FROM DANA FERGUSON:
Several incumbent state legislators, particularly in the Senate, edged out competitors with more extreme views on COVID-19, election security and more.

Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter  @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email  dferguson@forumcomm.com.

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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