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Rep. Dotseth weighs in

Now seven weeks into the Minnesota legislative session, here are some highlights taken from weekly email updates provided by District 11A State Rep. Jeff Dotseth, R-Silver Township.

Local issues

Dotseth was chief author on bills advocating for legislation to appropriate funding to improve Highway 73 south of Cromwell, as well as a Cloquet Area Fire District request for $10 million in state funding toward a new ambulance and fire district facility. He also signed onto a bill to help farmers combat wolf and elk depredation.

On matching tax codes

The Minnesota House passed legislation allowing state taxpayers to take advantage of numerous tax provisions already approved at the federal level. The bill passed the House 132-0 on Jan. 9, the Senate on Jan. 11 and was signed by Gov. Tim Walz on Jan. 12. It met the Jan. 13 deadline to allow tax software to be updated in time for the 2023 filing season.

“It was encouraging to see the House come together with this bipartisan accomplishment early in the session,” Dotseth said. “I want to work with my colleagues across the aisle and this was a refreshing instance where we all kept our eye on the ball and did what’s right for the people of Minnesota. This was one of those bills where we all got on board because the bill was in the best interest of all Minnesotans. We needed to get this done in a timely manner to make for a smoother tax season and I am pleased we delivered.”

On Social Security state taxes

Dotseth has authored legislation to fully repeal the state tax on Social Security, providing some breathing room for seniors — particularly those on fixed incomes.

Dotseth said Minnesota is one of just 12 states that still tax social security benefits. With a $17.6 billion state budget surplus, and price increases straining family budgets, Dotseth said the time is right for a full repeal.

“This is a crucial issue in our region, where we have an aging community and price increases in today’s economy make it challenging to simply heat your home and put food on the table,” Dotseth said. “These dollars already were taxed once, so why is our state taxing them a second time?”

Dotseth said a full Social Security tax repeal would benefit an estimated 473,000 people with an average tax savings of $1,276. In contrast, Gov. Tim Walz’s budget proposal doesn’t fully repeal the state Social Security tax.

Gov. Walz doesn’t favor eliminating Social Security taxes for the wealthy. According to the governor’s budget proposal speech on Feb. 19, Walz proposes cutting Social Security taxes by increasing the subtraction in current law. “Nearly 56 percent of Minnesota seniors would pay no state tax on their Social Security benefits under this proposal, and hundreds of thousands more would pay less,” Walz said.

HF 516 was referred to the House taxes committee on Jan. 18 and is still in committee.


Dotseth co-sponsored a resolution introduced Tuesday, affirming the state legislature’s commitment to encouraging manufacturers in our state to use Minnesota-mined minerals when manufacturing products.

Contact Jeff Dotseth at [email protected] or 651-296-4308.

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