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'This Is Historic': Lawmakers Reach Tax Cut Deal Ahead Of Session Deadline

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Major progress was made Saturday as lawmakers work to cobble together a budget deal before the end of the legislative session.

Legislators have until midnight on Sunday to have everything buttoned up, but the tax package has been agreed on.

DFL Rep. Paul Marquart, the chair of the House Tax Committee, said the bipartisan agreement equals the largest tax cuts in the history of the state.

"This...is going to have a real and meaningful impact on people's lives. This is historic," Marquart said.

Lawmakers from both parties made tax cuts a priority this session with more than $9 billion in state surplus money.

Under the $4 billion deal, senior citizens would no longer pay taxes on their social security checks.

Additionally, 2.4 million filers would see a small income tax reduction every paycheck.

An increased child and dependent care tax credit would help an estimated 81,000 families.

Legislators also say the bill includes $350 million in property tax reductions, and a renters' refund will be expanded to more people.

"This will help senior citizens stay in their homes," Marquart said. "This will help families stay in their neighborhoods."

For the agreement to go through, however, lawmakers first must agree by the Sunday deadline on other pieces of the budget, including education and public safety.

"We must not let this transforming, historic tax bill be held hostage by many of these other things," said Republican Sen. Carla Nelson, the chair of the Senate Tax Committee. "All of this good tax relief, it would be shameful if this got lost in other negotiations."

Not in the agreement are one-time rebate checks for all Minnesotans, which Gov. Tim Walz pushed for. Sen. Tom Bakk said people would've been disappointed to find out those checks would've been federally taxed.

Legislators are expected to work well into the night Saturday negotiating.

Walz has said he won't call a special session if the deadline is missed.

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