Senator Mike Goggin (R-Red Wing) delivered on key campaign promises by passing a state budget focused on tax relief and transportation funding. It is the first time in nearly two decades that Minnesotans will see significant tax relief, and the largest investment in roads and bridges since 2008. Roughly $1 billion of the state budget surplus is being used to fund these two top Republican priorities.
“Republicans said from the outset we had a few primary goals for the 2017 legislative session – emergency health care aid, significant tax relief, funding for schools, and long-term funding to fix roads and bridges,” said Sen. Goggin. “I’m proud to say we took care of every one of these priorities.”
The new budget focuses $648 million in tax relief to boost our economy and put more money in the pockets of Minnesotans. It includes income tax reductions to help Minnesotans on Social Security. It provides tax breaks for people trying to pay down student loans, and increases Local Government Aid and County Program Aid to help Greater Minnesota Communities.
After years of effort, Republicans delivered a bill to rebuild roads and bridges across Minnesota. The next state budget includes $300 million in new permanent, on-going money to fix our transportation infrastructure, including funding targeted to small cities, town roads, and local bridge replacement accounts. Thousands of lane miles and hundreds of bridges will be repaired or replaced over 10 years with the Republican plan.
In addition, taxpayers state wide will be exempted from contributing 50% to permanent annual operating costs of South West Light Rail.
Minnesota’s farm economy will be strengthened thanks to a Beginning Farmer Tax Credit, authored by Sen. Goggin, as well as buffer implementation aid and funding to help stop the spread of Palmer amaranth.
“Minnesota’s farmers are getting older and nearing the age when they will pass down their farms,” said Sen. Goggin. “My Beginning Farmer Tax Credit will prepare the next generation of farmers to keep our ag economy thriving.”
Schools are set to receive significant funding increases. Republicans put students first with $1.3 billion in new funding to Minnesota schools. This includes a 2% funding formula increase every year – a top priority of students, teachers, and education advocates.
“For my first session as a senator, one of my personal goals was to improve the way government functions,” added Sen. Goggin. “We made a lot of progress early in session, particularly with our aggressive schedule and our multiple early deadlines that we successfully met. But there’s still more work to do, particularly to avoid the stress of last minute deals. I’m excited to keep working next year.”