By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 1/6/2017
The 2017 Legislative Session is underway, and it is truly an honor to be your state representative. As this is my first year as your voice at the Capitol, I was pleased to have family and friends with me on “Opening Day” at our swearing in ceremony.
Like me, many of you probably wonder what actually happens on the first day of session. To my surprise, it was actually a bit more than pomp and circumstance; we actually did accomplish some legislative business.
After all 133 members of the Minnesota House took their oath of office, we elected our House Speaker for the next two years, appointed some non-partisan House staffers to their official capacities, and established some temporary House rules.
Two days later, we hit the ground running and approved an important bill for Minnesota’s taxpayers.
The plan will provide $21.7 million in tax relief to Minnesotans. By conforming state tax rates to that of the federal government, we are not only able to lower taxes for hardworking Minnesotans but prevent them from facing tax filing complications.
Some of the measures in the bill include tax deductions for higher education expenses and teacher reimbursement expenses; loan forgiveness on home foreclosures from being taxed at the state level; excluding compensation from taxable income for those who were wrongfully incarcerated; and eliminating the need for two sets of depreciation schedules for those who purchase work equipment.
Going forward, you can also expect a robust House tax relief proposal for middle class Minnesotans to be unveiled. But for now, we have taken the first step towards allowing Minnesotans to keep more of what they earn.
Throughout this session I encourage you to contact me at any time with your questions, concerns, or comments. You can call me at 651-296-3135, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a letter to 523 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
I’d also like to invite you subscribe to my email update in order to receive more thoughts and information on happenings at the State Capitol. To sign up, visit www.house.mn/54B and click on the “Email Updates” section.
Once again, I am eager to serve as your voice at the State Capitol, and look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions in the weeks ahead.