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Minnesota Senate passes permanent tax cuts, to refund $9 billion surplus

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Prices for gas and groceries in Minnesota are too high, according to Republican lawmakers.

So are state taxes, which is why the GOP is backing an omnibus bill containing permanent tax cuts.

The GOP-run Senate passed a bill Thursday to do something about the state’s $9 billion surplus. It’s about twice the size of Wisconsin’s budget surplus.

But, Minnesota’s part-time state Legislature is still working on ways to distribute that money back to taxpayers, while Wisconsin’s full-time state Legislature did nothing with its surplus. The Legislature in Wisconsin adjourned for the year three weeks ago, so it could hit the campaign trail.

Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, a Republican from Winona, says the state’s budget surplus isn’t a one-time thing.

“If you look into the future, there’s a structural budget surplus, meaning the state’s not just over collecting money from the taxpayers now but that goes into the future,” Miller said. “The best way to address that over taxation is by providing permanent tax relief.”

One measure in the bill would eliminate the state income tax on Social Security benefits.

Six Democrats joined the Republican majority in the Senate to make the tax cuts permanent. Miller of Winona says the bill is aimed at bringing the most benefit to middle-income taxpayers.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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