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Minnesota lawmakers pledge to fix $352M mistake

(The Center Square) –Minnesota lawmakers say a $352 million mistake in a recently passed tax bill shouldn’t affect residents, as long as they update the tax bill in the 2024 legislative session.

In 2019, lawmakers doubled the standard deduction and set the amount for a married joint filer at $24,400 and a single filer at $12,200. The law directs the commissioner for each subsequent year to adjust those amounts for inflation. After four years of inflation adjustments, the 2023 standard deduction for a married joint filer is $27,650 and $13,825 for a single filer.

Tax legislation signed into law in May inadvertently used the 2019 standard deduction amounts for the starting point in tax year 2024 instead of the inflation-adjusted amounts of $27,650/$13,825, eliminating four years of inflation adjustments. Without updating this provision, filers would see their taxable income increase when filing their 2024 taxes.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue Commissioner Paul Marquart, Senate Tax Committee Chair Sen. Ann Rest, D-New Hope, and House Tax Committee Chair Rep. Aisha Gomez, D-Minneapolis, agreed to correct the drafting error relating next legislative session.

No taxpayers are impacted by this drafting error for the current 2023 tax year. If an update is made during the 2024 legislative session, no taxpayers would see an impact on their tax filing due to this drafting error.

Senate Tax Committee Lead Bill Weber, R-Luverne, and Sen. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, criticized the mistake they blamed on a “breakneck pace” of the session.

“While working Minnesota families have been left believing the entire 2023 legislative session was a mistake for our state’s future, today’s announcement of a $352 million mistake in the tax bill shouldn’t surprise anyone. Working at a breakneck pace all session, the tax bill was negotiated by Democrats behind closed doors until the last minute,” they said in a statement.

“Rather than focus on the nuts-and-bolts of legislating to pass an error-free budget, we saw liberal ideals and special interests prioritized over good governance all session. And now they have a budget hole to fix before it impacts taxpayers. So not only was the entire surplus spent, but it appears we’ll have to run the numbers – with accurate language this time – to see how the mistake can be corrected.”

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