Where are the tax cuts?
State Rep. Krista Knudsen (R-Lake Shore) questions the need for proposed tax increases when Minnesota carries a record budget surplus.
With only days remaining in the 2023 legislative session and no end in sight for a conference committee that will set tax policy in the state for the next two years, will Minnesotans see any tax relief?
Minnesota has a $17.5 billion surplus while residents are struggling to pay their bills. I thought when I first came to St. Paul as an elected representative that we would have a thoughtful debate on policies like these. I have been disappointed in the Democrats' willingness to shut out the concerns of Minnesota taxpayers who will have to foot the bill for this reckless spending.
Among the Democrats’ broken tax relief campaign promises:
- Social Security Tax Relief. Despite nearly universal agreement among Democrat candidates to eliminate the unnecessary taxation on Social Security benefits for all of Minnesota’s senior citizens, talks of following through on that promise disappeared almost immediately after the Legislature gaveled into session in January. Recently, talks resumed on increasing the number of seniors who might qualify for taxation exemption, but a full elimination for all elderly residents is almost certainly dead.
- Baby Products. Among the decisions the Democrat-controlled Taxes Conference Committee has made is to remove an overwhelmingly bipartisan provision that would eliminate sales taxes from baby products. This tax exemption provides meaningful support for all parents in Minnesota as they expand their families and is especially helpful for first-time parents who may be overwhelmed at the costs of bringing a baby home safely.
- Rebate Checks. Following comments about an “insatiable appetite to raise taxes,” will talks of providing rebate checks disappear? Governor Walz began the session by stating that he wanted $2,000 rebates sent to married couples making $150,000 or less and $1,000 checks sent to single filers making $75,000 or less each year. As it stands today, legislative Democrats are only offering $550 for the same joint filers and $275 for singles. Could this amount decline even more or be eliminated altogether as the surplus well runs dry?
- Gas Tax Increase? The Democrats found plenty of taxes and fees to raise in the transportation arena – including a 3/4-cent Metro Area sales tax and increases on license tab renewals and the motor vehicle sales tax, to name a few – but raising the gasoline tax in the face of a mammoth budget surplus was supposed to be off the table. Now, in the waning hours of this session, Democrats won’t rule out having the gas tax tied to inflation, which would further financially devastate drivers who are currently paying nearly $4 per gallon.
The DFL has brought forward nearly $10 billion in proposed tax increases despite the record $17.5 billion budget surplus. These include deeply unpopular delivery taxes — already dropped by the Senate DFL — along with billions in sales tax increases, payroll taxes, fee increases, and additional unpopular and unnecessary tax and fee increases that take money out of the pockets of Minnesota families.