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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Washington County Senator Roger Chamberlain Presents a $900 Million Tax Relief Plan

On March 16th, one of Washington County's senators, Roger Chamberlain the Senate Tax Chair, presented the GOP $900 Million tax relief plan. Senator Chamberlain has a 100% rating from the tax payers league of Minnesota for his fiscal conservative record. This tax plan provides three times the relief on Governor Dayton's tax plan.

According to Senator Chamberlain's presentation, the $900 million in relief is focused on the middle class with the following points that are listed in greater detail than you'll find from the main stream media:
  • Everyone who pays income taxes will receive a break. That's 2.3 million people or 81% of Minnesotans.
  • This is the first permanent cut in 17 years
  • Phase out the social security tax. 38 states do not tax SS. This change could benefit 350,000 Minnesota seniors.
  • Provide a student loan repayment tax credit. Focus will be on a tax deduction.  
  • Exemption from State wide business property tax for first $100,000 in Market Value for main street businesses and end the automatic increase of the tax.
  • Property tax credit for agricultural property so farmers don't pay inordinate amount on school property tax levies.
                         -Small school districts have troubling passing levies because taxes fall                                      disproportionately on farmers.
                         -A farmer spoke and said his school district passed a $19.8 million dollar                                 levy and his taxes went up $12,000/year.
  • Increase incentive for small business to purchase new equipment by adjusting Section 179. Allowing taxed equipment to have a higher depreciation rate (thus lower tax).
  • Change estate tax so large property owners like farmers have more to pass on to the next generation of farmers.

Senator Chamberlain was asked by the media if the tax relief will be for the rich. His response was "The benefit goes mostly to lower income tax payers by percentage. The lower income will get a bigger kick out of this." Going on to state the numbers they're looking at show the lowest income tax payers will see a 8.6% reduction in taxes and the wealthiest a 1.2% reduction.

"The economy in our State is flat and the labor market is stagnant" Said Senator Chamberlain. "It's time to give the money and relief to the workers in the State. Give it to the citizens who generate economic growth."

Our other GOP Senator from Washington County is Senator Karin Housley. She provided this quote on the tax plan "The MN Senate Republicans have put forth a great tax relief bill, the first to lower tax rates in 17 years. I will lighten the household pocketbook for over 80% of Minnesotans. I heard over and over during the campaign that besides fixing our roads and bridges and lowering health insurance costs, tax relief is what the voters wanted. With this proposal, they will get it."

This tax plan appears promising and much needed relief for all tax paying Minnesotans. From farmers, to business owners, to employees, the elderly, and those with student loans like myself. I pay $600 a month in student loans. Talking to co-workers who also have four year degrees and student loans, most are paying around $800 a month for their student loans. We're responsible to pay the loans back; however it's frustrating to see federal loans profit with 7% interest charges like a credit card rate. This GOP tax plan will essentially return some of this government taxed money with a level of tax deduction on the student loan payment. This will be welcomed relief for tax payers who are not looking for a handout, rather a way out of student debt. 

It's great to see the MN Senate GOP come up with a fiscally responsible tax plan. However, it's concerning the Senate GOP budget plan is not pushing for a decrease in the budget; rather a 9% increase, to which Dayton will surely demand middle ground far above this. Lastly the Senate GOP Bonding bill is also against the grain of the GOP platform:
List of Tens of Millions in Pork in 2017 Bonding Bill

 $1.6 BILLION 2017 Bonding Bill. Legislators Say They Refuse to Cut Any Pork.GOP Senate Passes $5.8 Billion Transportation Bill with $180 Million to Met Council & Mass Transit a Huge RaiseVice Chair Rep. Petersburg Promises No Transit Bills in 2017 House Transportation Omnibus BillFour GOP Legislators are Silent After Attempt to Sneak Funding for Mass Transit in Omnibus Bill  Four Reasons Rep. Kelly Fenton was a Terrible Choice for a Republican Assistant Majority Leader