Hello from the State Capitol! Local business owners and residents forced onto unemployment have faced plenty of financial difficulties this past year, and should not be forced to pay more in state …
Hello from the State Capitol!
Local business owners and residents forced onto unemployment have faced plenty of financial difficulties this past year, and should not be forced to pay more in state taxes.
House Republicans tried to ease their fears this week, attempting to approve legislation that would exempt forgiven business owner Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan income from state taxes, as well as Unemployment Insurance tax elimination for COVID-19. Unfortunately, the Minnesota House majority refused to allow either bill to receive a floor debate, as all House Democrats unanimously opposed both measures.
With tax bills coming due, we wanted to take positive, common-sense action for people who have been struggling financially. Unfortunately, every member of the House majority opposed the action.
Impacted business owners who accepted PPP loans had to use those funds for business expenses, such as employee wages or rent, which is why Congress ultimately forgave the loans and made them free from federal taxation. The Minnesota Senate recently approved the state PPP Tax relief proposal on a bipartisan, and veto-proof vote of 55 -12.
Employees who were laid off due to COVID-19 also would have received relief, as the defeated House legislation would have exempted $10,200 in Unemployment Insurance income, the same exempted by the federal government.
See JURGENS Page 3 Jurgens
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I cannot understand the House majority opposition to the bills, and why the majority is operating with no sense of urgency on these topics. March 15 was the deadline to file business taxes in Minnesota, and Minnesotans’ income tax returns are also coming due.
With a significant state surplus, there is no reason to force our struggling business owners and workers to pay these unexpected tax burdens, and we should be acting quickly in order to give them some peace of mind. The surplus is largely made up from one time revenue, so it makes sense to use it on one time tax relief.
HIGHWAY 55 SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS MOVING FORWARD For those of you who use Highway 55 coming in and out of Hastings, know that safety improvements will be arriving near the Flint Hills refinery sooner than expected. MnDOT has announced that design work to construct dedicated turn lanes and other safety enhancements at the intersection of Hwy 55 and Doyle Path is underway now, and construction will begin in 2022, which is a year earlier than anticipated. Over the years there have been numerous safety concerns, along with serious and fatal crashes, at this intersection. This why improvements here are needed.
INCOME TAX FILING NEWS On Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service announced that the April 15, 2021 tax deadline for individual tax returns would be extended until May 17, 2021. Worth noting as you begin to prepare your taxes, the State of Minnesota has not yet matched that deadline.
OUT AND ABOUT… This week, the House Capital Investment Committee heard my bill that would provide $500,000 for improvements to the boat launch at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park. Commissioner Wayne Johnson and Washington County Parks Director Sandy Breuer testified in favor of the proposal at the hearing.
As this is the odd-numbered year of the legislative biennium, this is not the typical bonding year. But its always good news when the committee believes you have a worthwhile project and wants to hear more about it. Have a good weekend, Tony