House Tax Committee Hears Testimony on Proposed Tax Bill

April 24, 2018 06:44 PM

The House Tax Committee was scheduled to listen to testimony Tuesday afternoon from Gov. Mark Dayton's administration and other interested parties.

By the end of the session, the legislature and governor need to agree on a plan to make Minnesota's tax code conform to the new federal tax law passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump late last year.


RELATED: Dayton, GOP Lawmakers Joust Over Tax Bills

At some point Tuesday night, the House Tax Committee will consider amendments. The committee's chair, Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, warned members to limit the number of amendments at a Tuesday morning meeting.

"We do check out where these bills or amendments are coming from," he said. "And some of them are stuck deep in committees somewhere in the dark of night in a smoke-filled room in the right-hand lower desk drawer that's all dusty. So there's a reason why some of these amendments haven't (gotten) too far."

Dayton said his tax proposal would lower taxes for "2 million Minnesotans and their families" and preserve tax deductions for state taxes that are being eliminated for federal taxes.

However, Republicans said the governor does that by repealing tax cuts on businesses and some tobacco products that were passed last year.

He also proposes keeping in place a 2 percent health care "provider tax" that is supposed to blink off at the end of 2019.

The House Republican plan would increase the standard deduction from $13,000 to $14,000, and protects property tax deductions the federal tax law significantly reduces. 

"We need to simplify the tax code," Davids told reporters on the front steps of the State Capitol during a break between tax committee sessions. "What our bill does in the House is it simplifies the tax code and it helps a lot of middle income Minnesotans. That's the whole purpose of this exercise and what we wish to accomplish."

Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly says the Dayton administration and Republican lawmakers have similar goals and even some similar aspects to their tax bills, but she says the House bill is tilted in favor of the business community.

"So we appreciate the commonality we see in many parts of this bill,"Bauerly said in testimony before the tax committee. "Unfortunately, this bill like the tax bill at the federal level that passed last year provides more for business than for Minnesota families in terms of rate cuts."

The Republican-controlle Senate is expected to release details of its tax bill some time this week.

RELATED: Lawmakers to Discuss Bonding Bill, Tax Code as Session Resumes




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