Minnesota GOP senators pitch billions in tax cuts

Minnesota Senate Republicans on Thursday followed through on promises to propose major tax relief to every Minnesotan who pays income taxes.

“The largest tax cut in our state’s history,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller said in touting the tax plan. “The state of Minnesota is collecting too much money from the taxpayers. And Senate Republicans have heard loud and clear from the people of Minnesota: ‘Send the money back.’”

But they won’t send it back in the form of tax rebate payments as proposed by DFL Gov. Tim Walz. Instead, they propose a major cut in the state’s first-tier income tax bracket from 5.35% to 2.8%. They say that would save a Minnesota family earning $100,000 about $1,000 and an individual earning $37,000 about $500.

Republicans say the state’s first-tier income tax bracket is much too high.

“It is so high that our lowest rate is higher than the highest tax rate in 17 of our states,” says Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester.

The proposal also calls for the elimination of all state taxes on Social Security income.

RELATED: Showdown looming at State Capitol between tax cuts, new spending

Senate Democrats immediately slammed the proposal.

“Their bill proposals are premature, reckless and they over-promise,” said Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope.

Democrats also say the proposal ignores global realities playing out in Ukraine.

“We don’t know how the Russian invasion of Ukraine will impact Minnesota’s financial forecast,” says Sen. Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis. “We don’t know how it will impact Minnesota’s economy.”

Senate Minority Leader Melissa López Franzen, DFL-Edina, was more measured in her response, recognizing all sides are staking out positions.

“There will be a tax bill, we do know that,” she said while talking to reporters just off the Senate floor. “We have a surplus and we’ll work a way to give tax cuts and relief to Minnesotans and we’ll end up with a compromise like we always do.”

Everyone will have a better idea of what’s possible after the revised budget forecast comes out Monday.