Incoming DFLer’s want to abolish state tax on Social Security funds
MINNESOTA (KVRR) — Four incoming Democratic state senators are calling for the elimination of Minnesota’s tax on social security benefits that affect seniors across the state.
“Four of us, the four senators in that letter, we all ran on a platform of eliminating the tax on social security. We just wanted to make sure that we’re getting our voice out there early and letting people know this is a priority with us,” State Sen.-Elect Rob Kupec said.
Senators-elect Rob Kupec of Moorhead, Grant Hauschild of Hermantown, Heather Gustafson of Vad-niss Heights and Judy Seeberger of Afton say voters told them eliminating the tax is their top concern.
Kupec says more seniors are moving to other states where the benefit is not taxed.
“It’s one of the issues, actually, when I was out knocking doors in the summer. It did not matter whether you were a conservative or liberal. There was bipartisan support for eliminating that tax on Social Security. Certainly, if you’re on a fixed income and your budget is tight and you’re retired, that tax on that social security is a good chunk out of your paycheck. Especially with prices being higher right now. This would really help a lot of people out,” Kupec says.
On Tuesday, Governor Tim Walz stopped short of saying he supports eliminating the tax by using the state’s projected budget surplus of 17.6 billion dollars.
“We proposed in 2019 cuts to the social security tax by raising that limit. I think we have about 55% of social security recipients pay no state tax in Minnesota. If we take that ceiling up further, I simply said, ‘I don’t know if the richest Minnesotans, billionaires need a tax cut on social security,’ but we can have that conversation,” Walz said.
Kupec adds the legislature needs to be mindful of the budget to avoid going into a deficit.
“Even though it’s a huge budget surplus, a lot of it is one-time surplus money. You definitely want to be careful that you don’t cut too far, and then if we go into a recession, find out we’re in the hole. That’s certainly something we want to be careful of. I think there’s enough room there and enough money to do all those things we’d like to do. It is a staggering dollar amount,” said Kupec.
According to the AARP, Minnesota is one of only 12 states that taxes Social Security income.
Kupec says eliminating the tax will keep the state competitive as a place for retirement.