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Minnesota tax cuts: What’s in ’em for you

You’re not alone if you’re asking, “What’s in it for ME?” At KMSP-TV, Scott Wasserman and Doug Erilen put up a long list of tax cuts, one or more of which might apply to you: “Mortgage Debt Forgiveness: Homeowners whose lender agreed to accept less than they owed in a “short sale” or foreclosure of their home can exclude the amount of debt forgiven by the lender from their Minnesota income. … Student Loan Interest Deduction: Those who paid student loan interest that could be deducted on their federal tax returns may be able to deduct up to $2,500 of the interest from their Minnesota income.” And many more …

At The Minnesota Daily, Haley Hansen zeroes in on … the student parts. “The bill, which passed the state House and Senate earlier this month, provides up to $190 per year for more than 285,000 college graduates by deducting their student loan interest. Additionally, 40,000 current students and parents will get tuition deductions of $140 per year on average.”  Campus coffee shops and iTunes are bracing for a boon.

The Strib story, by Rachel Stassen-Berger, says: “Minnesota’s Department of Revenue has some advice for taxpayers: Please wait. Given a new tax relief law in place, after quick legislative action last week, the agency is asking taxpayers who could benefit to wait until April 3 to file their taxes. By then, the agency, software vendors and tax preparers should have updated forms in place to process the tax breaks.”

Want to win votes in Minnesota? Step up for hockey. At WCCO-TV, Kate Raddatz writes: “Some lawmakers are trying to help Minnesota ice arenas pay for a pricy upgrade. Beginning in 2020, there’s an international agreement to stop producing the R-22 refrigerant, which many rinks use to stay cold. The transition will mean higher costs, as the rinks will need to find alternative refrigeration systems. … [Sen. Amy] Klobuchar is working with the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure local rinks have the tools they need to make the transition to new refrigeration systems easier.”

And in that same vein … Howard Sinker at the Strib reports: “From the Facebook page of Gov. Mark Dayton: ‘I just watched the University of Minnesota Women’s Hockey Team lose a heartbreaker to Clarkston, 5-4, in the National Championship game. My eyes are still cross-eyed from trying to follow the puck on a 4”x6” screen, via an NCAA computer link. It’s disgraceful that no national or local television station televised the game for the National Championship.’ ”  

Sierra Club v. Minnesota Power. Dave Shaffer of the Strib says: “The Sierra Club alleged Monday that Duluth-based Minnesota Power is violating the U.S. Clean Air Act at three of its coal-burning power plants in northern Minnesota. The environmental group, in a letter to company executives, said its Boswell, Taconite Harbor and Laskin plants, exceeded air emissions, mostly related to degraded visibility, 12,774 times since 2009. The letter puts the company on notice that the Sierra Club intends to file a lawsuit under the citizen enforcement section of the federal law.”

Brew vs. trout. Jennifer Vogel of MPR reports: “[T]he wells from which the [Cold Spring] brewery has drawn water for a century — it was founded in 1874 — have become a source of contention in this city of 4,000 near St. Cloud. The state’s Department of Natural Resources wants Cold Spring Brewing to find a new source of water in order to protect a slender, 1.7-mile-long trout stream that runs through town and along the brewery’s property. The stream is fed by the same aquifer that supplies the brewery wells.” Can’t they just agree to brew Brook and Speckled and Rainbow beer?

A hundred people? Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “A father and son have been charged with hosting an underage spring break booze party for about 100 people at the family’s unoccupied farm in western Minnesota that was busted by authorities, prompting a star high school athlete who was there drinking to flee and die within hours from exposure to wintry weather. Gary L. Hastad, 59, and Erik P. Hastad, 19, both of Hantho Township, were charged last week with violating the Lac qui Parle County’s social host ordinance … .” Not exactly classic role-modeling.

Stribber Mark Brunswick reports on VA changes that are not sitting well with … veterans: “Several veterans organizations are denouncing a plan to tighten the rules for who can get into the state’s veterans homes. … Spouses of veterans, who now have equal access to the state’s five veterans homes on a first-come first-served basis, would be knocked down in the pecking order.”

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/24/2014 - 06:01 pm.

    No surprise

    “… It’s disgraceful that no national or local television station televised the game for the National Championship.”

    Governor Dayton is still operating on the mistaken assumption that local TV exists to serve the local public interest. Unfortunately, local TV, like national TV, exists to provide profits to its shareholders. Occasionally, the goal of profit and the need to serve the public interest to maintain the broadcast license intersect, but it’s a fairly rare occurrence.

  2. Submitted by Steve Rose on 03/24/2014 - 06:16 pm.

    “the agency is asking taxpayers who could benefit to wait”

    This late March advice would have been actionable for many Minnesotans were it offered in January or early February. Most of us don’t wait until the filing deadline to see if the state is going to change the rules. Does the Department of Revenue have an A-game?

  3. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 03/24/2014 - 08:36 pm.

    The number of people who get tax breaks is?

    Hard to tell. Per the referenced article, the Department of Revenue estimates that 1 in 10 taxpayers will benefit. State population of approximately 5.5 million, 10% of which is 550,000 but that number is of people, not taxpayers.

    Front page of Saturday’s Strib says 1 million will see tax breaks, but they count breaks that won’t come until next year and we just saw how decisions made last session don’t come true.

    Hopefully the number is greater than the number whose taxes were raised last session.

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