DFL’s $352 million tax blunder

During the last legislative session in St. Paul, I wrote about how the DFL was voting bills through committees without any idea what they would cost. They were too busy passing too many laws, they told us, to bother getting things like Fiscal Notes.

Now, the Star Tribune reports:

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has uncovered a drafting error in a sprawling $3 billion tax cut package passed last session that could cost taxpayers $352 million over the next two years if it’s not corrected.

Note, by the way, that the Star Tribune, now published by a former member of Governor Walz’ cabinet, dutifully parrots the DFL lie that this $3 billion expansion of welfare payments is a “tax cut.”

The error, a few lines in a nearly 400-page bill, relates to standard deduction amounts. Lawmakers inadvertently used the 2019 standard deduction amount for tax year 2024, but that number didn’t include four years of adjustments to account for inflation. The mistake meant most married taxpayers would lose roughly $3,200 on their standard deduction, while single filers would lose $1,600.

Without updates, the error would cost $110 for single filers and $210 for married couples on their 2024 taxes, [Revenue Department Commissioner Paul] Marquart said. Roughly 2.3 million returns would be affected. The error was first reported by MinnPost.

A staffer at the department, who was combing through the bill to prepare future tax forms, caught the error more than a month after the bill was signed into law.

The state’s thanks is due to that staffer for doing a better job scrutinizing this bill than any of the legislators who voted on it.

Much has been made of the DFL’s legislative Blitzkreig in the last session, but one of the results of trying to ram through as much legislation as you can as quickly as you can is, of course, exactly this sort of blunder. Quantity triumphed over quality.