Minnesota Senate approves federal tax conformity bill, sending it to Walz

Gov. Tim Walz will soon get a chance to sign the first bill passed during the 2023 legislative session.

Wednesday, the Minnesota Senate unanimously gave final approval to a bill to bring state tax laws in line with recent federal changes. The bill was passed by the Minnesota House of Representatives on Monday.

The bill had bipartisan support in both chambers, allowing it to move swiftly through the Legislature just over a week into the session.

Not only does the bill simplify tax filings, but it also cuts tax collections by more than $100 million, according to lawmakers. Plus, it expands eligible expenses to college savings accounts, allows employers to pay for student loans and increases the amount a business can provide for employee child care benefits.

“Minnesota business and labor leaders alike are behind this common-sense update of Minnesota’s tax laws,” Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, the Tax Committee chair, said in a statement. “By aligning the state and federal tax codes, we have made filing taxes simpler and have allowed thousands of individuals and businesses across the state to take advantage of tax cuts this year. By passing this bipartisan legislation quickly, as we have done, we will get it to Governor Walz so that he can sign it into law in time for needed changes to be made this filing season.”

“Senate Republicans have been cutting taxes for Minnesotans since 2017, and I’m glad we continue the trend with this bill today. We have a $17.6 billion surplus and we have to give it back to the taxpayers. This bill does that in a very simple and bipartisan way,” Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, added.

However, Republicans say the bill doesn’t eliminate the tax on Social Security. It wasn’t immediately clear why that was left out or if it may be addressed in a later bill.