Minnesota Senate battles over Social Security tax relief

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 9:03 PM CST
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ST. PAUL, MN. (Northern News Now) -- It’s a battle of the bills.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle in the Minnesota Senate are pushing legislation to eliminate the Social Security tax, but with different methods.

Minnesota is one of 11 states that currently taxes Social Security.

Some state politicians in both parties want to change that this session.

“The Social Security tax cut bill that I am authoring, is my top budget priority and the reason is that our district has a lot of retirees, it’s actually one of the highest retiree districts per capita in the state,” said DFL Senator Grant Hauschild of Hermantown.

Hauschild is co-author of a bill that would eliminate the Social Security tax and include some relief for public pension benefits.

Hauschild’s bill is going through committees, with the goal of inclusion in the Senate Tax Omnibus Bill.

“The reason that’s really important is because there’s a lot of negotiations that go on to get votes for those large bills, so including the social security tax relief and pension relief in that omnibus bill is really really critical to getting it to the governor’s desk,” Hauschild said.

On Monday, several republicans attempted to move a differing bill on the same topic out of the committee process and to a general vote.

That bill does not include public pension relief.

“Not that we’re not supportive of that, but that was not in the agreement last year and it has not been discussed nearly as much as the social security income piece has, so that’s why we were wanting to do it as a standalone because that’s what everyone has been talking about so long,” said Republican Senator Jason Rarick of Pine City.

The motion to move that bill to a general vote failed 34 to 32 on party lines.

Both sides said they are frustrated by the other’s actions.

“What happened on the floor, was frankly a political gimmick,” Hauschild said.

“Most all of us heard at the doors ‘let’s work together,’ and it seems we should be collaborating, we should be talking about coming to common ground and so just the first reaction here is just one more thing that is a straight party-line vote,” Rarick said.

Both bills are currently going through the Senate Tax Committee.