Here’s KMSP-TV’s Tim Blotz on the governor’s proposed tax cuts: “Married couples: More than 650,000 married couples would save an average $115 per year under the governor’s plan to eliminate the ‘marriage penalty.’
Working families: 13,000 more middle class families would qualify for the Working Family Tax Credit, and 40,000 would receive an increased credit. These families would save an average $334.
Day care: By expanding tax credits for child care, the number of families benefiting would increase from 36,000 to 170,000. The average tax benefit would increase $430 per year.”
Stribber Baird Helgeson says: “The governor’s proposal also seeks to modify the estate tax and eliminate the gift tax, which has been widely criticized. … Minnesota would no longer be one of just a couple states to impose a gift tax, under the plan. Dayton is urging legislators to act in the next couple weeks, giving the state time to implement the changes before Tax Day. Many of the proposed tax breaks would be retroactive to 2013, such as the adoption credit and an income tax break for people who lost their home to foreclosure or a short sale.” MinnPost’s James Nord has coverage here.
The “epicenter,” you say … For the Forum News Service, Don Davis writes: “Western North Dakota’s oil boom puts Minnesota in a dangerous position, a key Minnesota lawmaker says, and the state should increase its rail oil safety oversight. Most of the highly volatile oil moves from the Bakken oilfields through Minnesota. ‘We are at the geographic epicenter of this,’ said Chairman Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, of the House Transportation Finance Committee. … After hearing from state regulators, union leaders and railroad executives Wednesday, Hornstein said that he plans to release a bill next week to improve Minnesota’s ability to prepare for and fight oil disasters.” He’ll have more co-signers after the next explosion.
Find out if he watched “Game of Thrones.” Vicki Gerdes of the Forum News Service writes: “The man accused of killing a woman with a crossbow in his downtown Detroit Lakes apartment last April will undergo a court-ordered evaluation by a licensed psychologist. … Stensrud was charged in the death of Geraldine Kading, 69, of rural Dent. According to the criminal complaint, officers were called to Stensrud’s apartment just before 3 p.m. April 10 for a welfare check after receiving a report of a potential murder-suicide. Kading was found unresponsive inside Stensrud’s Washington Avenue apartment with an arrow protruding from her chest. Officers also found Stensrud lying on the floor of a bedroom with an arrow protruding from his chest.”
Proudly, anti … anti-bullying … Pat Kessler at WCCO-TV reports: “A controversial DVD delivered to Minnesota lawmakers is raising eyebrows at the Capitol. It’s a 27-minute video making the case against an anti-bullying bill from a group called the Minnesota Child Protection League. … ‘A new set of values, attitudes and behavior will replace their own religious, cultural or family values — or else,’ the group states in the video.”
Also from WCCO, Liz Collins says: “As the boys state hockey tournament skates into the Xcel Energy Center, it’s another showdown in St. Paul that some high school athletes are fighting to win. … Lawmakers are wondering if some students and their parents are going too far to gain a competitive edge. … The stories are well-known in the crowd on one night — a kid from Colorado playing varsity on one team. Another family that bought a townhouse in the school district so their son could play.” You know someone is out scouting Novosibirsk Junior High for their “program.”
Are you currently backed up past Penn Ave on 394, trying to get past the Basilica? Tim Harlow of the Strib says: “If it seems like we are encountering traffic jams more frequently and spending more time sitting behind the wheel, we are. Traffic levels in Minneapolis-St. Paul rose 17 percent last year compared with 2012 levels, and motorists wasted 24.5 hours — a whole day — sitting behind the wheel. That increase of 4 hours from the previous year pushed the metro area up two spots to No. 16 on the list of America’s Worst Traffic Cities according to the seventh annual Traffic Scorecard Report released this week.”
Someone kept his head in a crisis … Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “A school bus for special needs grade school students caught fire Thursday morning in Brooklyn Park, prompting the driver to remove four students, two of them in wheelchairs, and then vainly battle the flames with a fire extinguisher while firefighters were en route, officials said.”
It’s the least they could for the guy … Dan Nienaber of the Mankato Free Press says: “Around the same time former Minnesota State University football coach Todd Hoffner announced he was accepting a job at another university, he also filed legal documents to erase any record of the unfounded criminal charges that drew national attention to him and MSU. Shortly after Hoffner accepted the job at Minot State University in North Dakota, his Mankato attorney, Jim Fleming, started the process of requesting Hoffner’s criminal case be removed from the state’s court records system.”