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Our point of view: the legislature can agree on a tax, at the very least

By on March 23, 2021 0

Recall in 2018, when state lawmakers failed to bring Minnesota’s tax code into line with revised federal tax rules. Their failure turned Tax Day 2019 into a nightmare for many Minnesotans. And more expensive, as many preparers charged more due to the unnecessary complexity left by St. Paul’s inaction and the extra time required to complete essentially two different returns. Exacerbating all of this was the new federal tax law’s elimination of a deduction for tax preparation costs.

A year later, the legislature passed a tax compliance bill, and then finally brought the state’s tax code further in line with the federal overhaul via a bail bill measure in 2020.

The tax compliance problem now? The Federal Paycheck Protection Program for Small Businesses, intended to help them survive the economic hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, offers loans that are repayable as long as they are used to cover eligible costs and 60 % to cover the payroll. However, Minnesota still does not automatically comply with changes in federal tax law. State legislation is therefore required so that non-repayable PPP loans are not taxed here and the federal deduction is allowed here.

“Over 100,000 Minnesota businesses have participated in the P3 loan program. Without (St. Paul’s legislation now), many small and medium-sized businesses – already struggling due to lost revenue – will face new tax burdens, ”the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce said in a statement this week. . “Complying with federal tax law as early as possible in the 2021 session is critical because final tax payment is due on April 15.”

The chamber urged business leaders and others statewide to contact Gov. Tim Walz and lawmakers to urge immediate action. The 2021 session is already underway. “Urge them to comply with the federal P3 tax loan exemption and allow deductibility of expenses on Minnesota tax returns,” the chamber said.

It seems obvious, to ensure that Minnesota businesses that are already struggling can receive, without tax penalties, the help they are allocated to get them through a period of unprecedented challenge.

It also appears to be an easy bipartisan victory early in the session, perhaps leading to more cooperation and compromise, better legislation, and an appropriate focus on the needs of the Minnesotans ahead of the priorities of the DFL and the Minnesota Republican parties. .

Of course, nothing seems politically easy right now – not even at the state level or in the country of Minnesota Nice.

A town hall-like legislative discussion this week reminded viewers online. The event “quickly turned into a game of shouting about (last week) the murderous riot at the United States Capitol,” reported Forum News Service, which hosted the discussion and, as the News Tribune, is owned by Forum Communications.

The Public Roundtable with Legislative Leaders is hosted annually by the News Service and is usually a low-key but informative opportunity for non-metro Minnesota residents to learn about session priorities and what to expect.

This time, however, “the gloves fell as lawmakers yelled at each other while calling on their opponents to moderate rhetoric – raising questions about the tone of the political negotiations that most affect the lives of Minnesotans during the legislative session. of this year, ”News Service’s Sarah Mearhoff Forum reported. Discussions continued for most of the hour-long event, punctuated by a shouting match between (State House Speaker Melissa) Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and (Chief of House Minority Kurt) Daudt (R-Crown). “

While both sides can accept responsibility for the partisan brutality that increasingly fails Minnesotans and all Americans, it is the refusal of Republicans at this time to recognize and accept the results of an election declared fair. and without widespread fraud by Governors and Secretaries of State across all 50 United States, by election officials from coast to coast, and even by Republican Attorney General William Barr pushing our nation to the brink of abyss. The violent language used by Trump and his supporters directly led to the deadly riot on the United States Capitol last week.

As they should have done weeks ago, Republicans must forcefully point out that there was no massive election fraud. They must denounce and silence these false claims so that our nation can heal, move forward and start working together again, without fear of uprising, in our streets and in our capitals.

Minnesota Republicans must also work with the DFLers – soon, this very week, with the perhaps ever greater need for a bipartisan victory – to pass legislation so that small businesses backed by the Check Protection Program payroll are not required to incur a tax penalty because of it. . Like all of us, they have suffered enough.

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