Governor Mark Dayton and the Zuzek family of Hastings, Minnesota. Mark and Janet Zuzek have two kids in college (Katie and Abbie), and one more headed to college next fall (Alex).
ST. PAUL, MN – Minnesotans still have a few more hours to file their taxes today, and claim millions of dollars in middle class tax cuts signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton less than one month ago. The $508 million in tax cuts enacted early this session by Governor Dayton and the Legislature are slated to benefit over 1.2 million middle class Minnesotans and thousands of businesses across the state.
“Many thousands of Minnesota families and businesses have already received the tax cuts, which the Legislature and I enacted last month,” said Governor Dayton. “Those tax cuts are putting more money into the pockets of middle-class Minnesotans, and will help boost Minnesota’s growing economy."
Some Minnesotans are deducting their tuition expenses and student loan interest. Others are receiving tax-free employer assistance for adoptions and college tuition. Still others have avoided tens of thousands of dollars in state taxes after losing their homes to foreclosures or short sales. The Working Family Tax Credit is saving low-wage Minnesota workers and their families hundreds, and in some cases thousands of dollars this year alone. These tax cuts, and dozens of others, are providing real savings to real families. Take for instance these Minnesotans’ stories.
Tax Savings: $160 this year; $380 next year
The Zuzeks were born to teach. Mark Zuzek has been a public school principal for 18 years. His wife, Janet, has been a teacher for 26 years. And now all three Zuzek children (Katie, Abbie, and Alex) are following in their parents’ footsteps, pursuing their degrees in education at St. Mary’s University in Winona. But tuition is not cheap. In fact, the Zuzeks are paying tens of thousands of dollars in tuition each year. Now, thanks to the college tuition tax deduction enacted by Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature this session, paying for tuition got just a little easier – saving the Zuzeks $160 when they filed their taxes this month. When the marriage penalty is officially eliminated next tax season, Mark and Janet will save another $220. And when Katie Zuzek starts paying off her student loans in 2014, she will be eligible to deduct the interest she paid on those loans – a deduction that could save her as much as $190 on her taxes.
Tax Savings: $700 to $800 this year
Kristy and Aaron Norman of Rochester, Minnesota, had always dreamed of raising a family. And thanks to adoption, they are now the proud parents of two young children. When the Normans adopted their daughter in July 2013, Aaron’s employer paid for half of the $20,000 required for the adoption process. But after paying $10,000 of their own money to complete the adoption, the Normans found out they would still owe between $700 and $800 in state taxes on the reimbursement they received from Aaron’s employer. Now, thanks to a new law signed by Governor Dayton last month, employer financial assistance for adoptions is 100 percent tax free in Minnesota – saving Kristy and Aaron up to $800 on their state taxes this year.
Tax Savings: Up to $35,000 this year
After losing her job during the Great Recession, Brenda Scandin and her husband had a hard time making the mortgage payments on their home in Mound, Minnesota. After having their house on the market for six years, the Scandins were forced to sell their home at a loss in a short sale in 2013. Altogether, they lost more than $500,000 on the sale and saw their credit score drop dramatically overnight. Despite never seeing a penny from the home sale, Brenda and her husband were still expected to pay between $30,000 and $35,000 in state taxes. Now, thanks to a new mortgage debt forgiveness provision signed into law by Governor Dayton last month, the Scandins and thousands of other Minnesotans who sell their homes at a loss or lose their homes to foreclosure, will not have to pay tens of thousands of dollars in state taxes at a time when they can least afford it.
Tax Savings: $180 next year
Ching and Phi Lee have been happily married for more than 28 years. After they retire in the next five to eight years, the Lees look forward to spending more time in their garden, where they grow flowers and vegetables. This session, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature eliminated the marriage penalty – saving more than 650,000 married couples across Minnesota an average $115 per year. The Lees are slated to save an estimated $180 on their taxes next year because of this change – more money they can use toward their garden, spend at a local business, or put aside in their savings account for a rainy day.
More Tax Cuts
Click the links below to learn more about the $508 million in tax cuts Governor Dayton signed into law last month, and the more than 1.2 million middle class Minnesotans and thousands of businesses that stand to benefit from these tax changes.
A Fair Tax Plan – Get a by-the-numbers look at the tax cuts enacted early this session.
Middle Class Tax Cuts – More than 1.2 million middle class Minnesotans stand to benefit from these new tax cuts.
Tax Cuts for Businesses – By eliminating some business sales taxes, and reducing and simplifying business taxes, thousands of businesses – both small and large – stand to benefit this year.