• 39°

Republican tax plan hurts Minnesotans

By Ken Martin

DFL Chairman

$413,748.

This is not the dollar figure for an average home price or personal student loan debt in Minnesota. This number is the income threshold for Minnesota’s top 1 percent. And how much you need to make to reap the benefits of Republicans’ “tax reform” plan.

The richest 1 percent of Minnesotans will receive an average tax cut of over $40,000 under this plan. That is 87 times more than what the average middle-class family will receive. In fact, over a quarter of Minnesotans will see their taxes rise. It will take away health insurance from millions, make it harder for people to save for retirement, and devastate our economy by adding more than a trillion dollars to the deficit.

Minnesota students will find it harder to pay for their education. The House bill takes away a critical student loan interest deduction that more than 300,000 graduate students in Minnesota count on to save over $1,000 each year. The bill also taxes tuition waivers or reductions as income — forcing students to claim income they never actually received. Graduate students across the country have walked out in protest, and the President of the University of Minnesota worries the tax bill will discourage students from pursuing advanced degrees.

Older Minnesotans will struggle to save for retirement and cover their medical bills. The House tax plan would take away all Minnesotans ability to deduct their medical expenses. And it would force a $25 billion cut to Medicare next year, putting close to a million Minnesota seniors who depend on this program at risk. These are just some of the reasons why the AARP has blasted the tax bill as “detrimental to an already vulnerable population.”

American workers and small businesses will be put at a disadvantage in the global economy. The Republican tax plan incentivizes large companies to move jobs overseas by giving them a 0 percent rate on most foreign profits. While big corporations take advantage of this loophole, workers and small businesses on Main Street will find it harder to compete.

Rural communities will see critical infrastructure investments vanish. The House plan ends the New Market Tax Credits program, which funds hospitals, daycare facilities, alternative energy projects, and small businesses in rural and distressed communities across the country. This critical program has pumped billions into rural areas of Minnesota and created thousands of full-time jobs in our state since 2003.

The list of Minnesotans whom this “tax bill” hurts goes on and on. But there’s still time to defeat it. The House and Senate are now working to reconcile the differences between their two bills, and will have to take one final vote. Minnesota’s Republican Representatives must do the right thing, reverse course, and join Democrats in a bipartisan effort to provide real tax reform that works for all Americans.