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Tuesday - February 20, 2018 11:59 pm

New federal tax code complicating things in Minnesota

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota’s latest legislative session got underway Tuesday.

State lawmakers returned to the Capitol with a long to-do list. Squaring Minnesota’s tax code with the recently passed federal tax cuts is one of the top priorities for 2018.

Conformity is what it's being called, having the state align with the new federal tax provisions.

The hitch, however, is, without making any additional changes to state tax policy, Minnesota tax collections are projected to increase by about $850 million for the 2018-2019 budget cycle and by $1.5 billion in the next two-year biennium, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

On top of that, simply filing taxes will, apparently, not be so simple, either.

"I think it's very, very important that we conform as much to the federal tax bill as we possibly can simply to make filing for our Minnesota residents much easier," Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, who chairs the taxes committee, said.

Another order of business for Minnesota lawmakers is approving budgets for the House and Senate. Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed that funding last year.

And, all eyes are on GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach, who ascended to lieutenant governor earlier this year. But, while she holds that position, she's also trying to remain in her Senate seat, so Republicans retain their one-seat majority.

Holding both positions has already been the subject of a legal challenge and it was objected to minutes into Tuesday's opening session by Sen. Ron Latz, D-St. Louis Park.

WIZM staff

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