The Legislature started its work on Jan. 8, 2019, and already it has been a busy session. Two weeks ago, the annual March for Life rally and the Gun Owners Caucus Day at the Capitol brought many citizens to the Capitol. Last week it was organizations of bikers and home school parents. I enjoyed meeting supporters of those groups and discussing issues important to them.
There is little doubt that tax relief laws approved in Minnesota and Washington, D.C., last year are improving our economy. For state lawmakers, however, the federal tax relief law is creating some extra legislative work. Our state has a number of provisions within our tax code that don't mesh with federal tax laws. This is problematic because if the differences remain unresolved, it would create a paperwork nightmare for those trying to complete their income tax forms next year and could result in tax increases for some because of differing language in tax code.
As chairman of the Minnesota House Property Taxes Division, one of my top priorities is to deliver long-overdue property tax relief to our farm families. We made great strides in this area last session, as a new law institutes a 40 percent property tax reduction for rural landowners if their school district approves a bond levy. In all, 240,000 farmers will receive property tax relief to reduce their proportionate share of school district debt service.
As chairman of the Minnesota House Property Tax Division, I was confident that the $650 million tax relief proposal championed and approved by legislative Republicans last session would ultimately result in reducing property taxes across this state. I have good news to report, as the nonpartisan Minnesota House Research Department notes in a recent analysis that Minnesotans will be paying $121 million less in property taxes thanks to our new tax reform laws. See the report at
Viewpoint Over the years, a large number of Goodhue County residents have been outraged over discussion of a passenger rail line, including Zip Rail, being constructed from Rochester to the Twin Cities.