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COLUMN: Sen. Rarick - "Higher Taxes, Little Relief, and Broken Promises"

Senate Democrats recently brought forward their tax proposal, which follows the pattern of almost every other bill that has passed through the Senate so far this year: one party pushing through an extreme agenda with zero input or support from the other party. Democrats spent last year campaigning on and promising tax relief and the full elimination of the tax on social security income. Yet this bill fails to deliver on those promises, and instead does the opposite. We started session with a $17.5 billion surplus, which meant meaningful tax relief could easily be accomplished. Unfortunately, as bills have been put together, the surplus has dwindled before our eyes. That left us with a tax bill that actually raises taxes by $1.2 billion and fails to deliver on promises to completely eliminate the social security tax. I find this tax bill incredibly disappointing for many other reasons too.

As we all know, inflation has been affecting Minnesotans across the state, forcing families to dig deep into their savings and pocketbooks to afford rent, groceries, mortgages, and childcare. To combat its negative effects, folks have been asking for meaningful tax relief to ease the burdens they’re facing. Unfortunately, under the Democrats’ tax bill, a single filer earning over $75,000 gets no refund. That immediately neglects many of our most valued professionals such as plumbers, nurses, law enforcement officers, and so many more. These are the people who worked through the shutdowns and have created this huge surplus, yet they will not receive any relief from this bill. With rising prices around every corner, tax relief for all should have been the number one factor of this bill.

This bill also incorporated a new and controversial tax measure known as “global reporting,” which will affect any business entity that has sales in Minnesota. They will now need to report their entire income to the state of Minnesota, which will include income gained from business done both inside and outside of the state. This will almost certainly hurt businesses that contribute to our state’s economy. Businesses will now be penalized and forced to pay more for doing business in our state. We’ve already seen so many businesses leave our state in recent years, often crossing borders to our neighboring states, now they may choose to stop operating in Minnesota all together. Though other states have put forward similar proposals, Minnesota will be the first to mandate this tax, which I find to be incredibly troubling. Not only will this new tax be overly complicated to institute, but it will disincentivize businesses from investing in Minnesota.

We came into this Session with a historic surplus, and Minnesotans repeatedly asked legislators for meaningful and permanent tax relief to offset the crippling effects of inflation. Though Democrats spent the campaign season promising to address these concerns, they came into session and immediately backtracked on their promises. As a result, we were left with a tax bill that raises taxes, offers little relief, and ignores the needs of Minnesotans. This bill, combined with all the other costly bills Senate Democrats have pushed through this year, will only ensure Minnesotans continue to be over-taxed long into the future.

During this session, elderly Minnesotans, middle class Minnesotans, and rural Minnesotans have been ignored. Extreme agendas have been pushed through to reward special interest groups. If you are not in one of those special interest groups, this session could be summarized in a simple phrase: Higher taxes, little relief, and broken promises.

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