Special session provides disaster relief, fails to repeal business-to-business and farm equipment repair taxes
BY Rep. Joyce Peppin
MN House Dist. 34A
State Representative Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, announced that Hennepin County is one of 18 counties that will receive disaster relief funds appropriated by the State Legislature in a special session on Sept. 9. June storms caused millions of dollars in damage to infrastructure, and caused the largest power outage in state history. The state’s $4.5 million contribution will be matched by FEMA for a total $18 million package. Hennepin is expected to receive about $2 million.
Rep. Peppin says that while it was appropriate for disaster relief to be granted, she is disappointed Governor Dayton and the Democratic-controlled Legislature refused to repeal three new business-to-business taxes that are negatively affecting hardworking Minnesotans in all 87 counties, especially in the northwest suburbs.
“I am disappointed the Governor and Democratic majorities were unwilling to repeal and fix the tax increases they themselves have admitted were mistakes from the budget they passed in May,” Rep. Peppin said. “This special session provided us the perfect opportunity for a ‘do-over’ to help Minnesotans across the state by repealing the new Democratic tax on the repair of farm machinery, as well as their new taxes on warehousing and telecommunications. These three taxes have already made Minnesota less competitive and the costs are being passed on to consumers of all income levels. Unfortunately, these suggestions were dismissed by the Governor and his fellow legislative Democrats.”
In addition, a recent Pioneer Press report indicated that as a result of the Democratic budget not conforming to the federal tax code, nearly 12,000 Minnesotans will pay $250-$300 more in state tax if they receive employer-paid education benefits. An estimated 650,000 married couples will pay a so-called “marriage penalty” of, on average, $120 and other taxpayers will lose tax breaks for certain adoption benefits, student loan interest, child care, mortgage insurance premiums and teacher classroom expenses, among other items. Filing will be more complicated because taxpayers will have to add back certain federal deductions on their state income tax returns.
“Day after day we learn of more hidden tax increases, tax mistakes, tax errors and tax omissions in the Democratic budget that are costing all Minnesotans, not just the higher income families they claimed their budget would affect. The cumulative impact is taking a toll on our state economy,” Peppin commented.
The first revenue report from state economists since the new Democratic budget went into effect confirms that taxpayers and businesses appear to be negatively impacted. Revenue collections are down $20 million, the first time they have come in below projections in several months.
“The recent economic news is a reversal of what happened under the bipartisan budget we passed in 2011,” Rep. Peppin explained. “Over a two-year span, we accrued over $3 billion in greater-than-expected revenue in large measure because we let the private economy thrive, held the line on taxes, and gave people faith in a responsible government. It is my hope that we can return to that type of budget in the very near future.”
Representative Peppin encourages constituents to contact her with questions or opinions on any state legislative issue. She may be reached at [email protected] or 651.296.7806. Mail should be sent to Rep. Joyce Peppin, 281 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.