Minnesota Republicans propose $13B tax relief plan

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(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota House and Senate Republicans came together Tuesday to roll out their tax relief plan, which they’ve named the “Give It Back” plan, that includes permanent tax cuts for the elderly, property owners and parents.

Republicans say the tax plan provides $13 billion over two years in permanent tax cuts and one-time rebates.

It comes a day after Minnesota’s latest budget and economic forecast was released, which showed a $17.5 billion surplus. That was the first prediction in nearly two decades to factor in inflation after state lawmakers recently approved legislation requiring inflation to be factored into the forecasts again.

RELATED: Minnesota surplus holds steady as budget picture improves

Some Republicans worried that including inflation in the estimate would lead to more government spending, while DFL lawmakers pushed to include inflation in the estimate from the state budget office. The full budget and economic forecast can be found HERE.

In announcing their plan Tuesday morning, House and Senate GOP leaders cited the large budget surplus and bipartisan agreement on a couple of the tax plans they support as reasons why now is the right time for their tax relief plan.

“Democrats may not think tax relief is a priority, but to hardworking Minnesotans it is,” Republican House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth (Cold Spring) said. “Our state government is swimming in cash, meanwhile Minnesotans are struggling to afford their lives. With a $17.5 billion surplus, if we can’t give tax relief to Minnesotans now, when can we? This is the perfect opportunity to give bipartisan tax relief and put more money back into Minnesotans’ pockets. There is no excuse not to get this done.”

Their plan also includes $1,250 rebate checks for single Minnesota tax filers or $2,500 for joint filers, an idea that Gov. Tim Walz proposed last year and said he’d support again this year. While Republicans didn’t voice much support for the plan during the 2022 session, leaders said Tuesday that it wasn’t that they didn’t support the checks but wanted it paired with permanent tax cuts.

While Republicans are in the minority in both chambers, meaning their proposals won’t be approved without support from at least some DFL lawmakers, caucus leaders said some DFL lawmakers also ran for office on promises of tax relief, specifically on Social Security benefits.

“So, there’s not only pressure on us to deliver for the people of Minnesota, there’s pressure on them as well, and if they cannot do it, we will remind the voters of Minnesota that they failed to do that when they were in control of everything,” Sen. Bill Weber (R-Luverne) said.

Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) and Demuth added that Republicans consider a bonding bill important and want to pass a bonding bill. However, they added that getting some of the surplus back to Minnesotans is a priority for them.

“With the historic surplus, there has never been a better time to support Minnesota families and businesses by reducing their tax burden so they keep more of their own money,” said Johnson.