Johnson: The governor is not providing to students, to a lot of senior citizens, disabled, young families who are dependents. An example would be a young couple or a mom with kids living with the parents. Certainly they're making purchases, but they've not been eligible. They need that rebate; those kinds of people.Johnson says the DFL-backed rebate is fair and balanced, but Senate Republicans say it's neither. GOP Minority Leader Dick Day tried unsuccessfully to add wage earners under 18 to the list of those eligible for a rebate. He says it's not fair to deny them sales tax money while people who get cash welfare benefits and education grants are eligible for rebates.
Day: A kid that's out delivering pizza who's 17 years old and probably paying income, he doesn't get any money, and people that are on welfare, we're giving them a check. So I mean, you figure it out. But that's the Democrat way of doing things. We've got to make sure we take the incentive to work out of people.Doug Johnson acknowledges welfare recipients would be eligible for a rebate under the Senate plan, but he says there's nothing wrong with giving people help to become self sufficient.
Johnson: There are struggling young families who are trying to get off of welfare that work. They may get some minimal public assistance, and it doesn't seem fair to exclude that income when they're paying the sales tax when they buy items.Johnson notes that most people under 18 are claimed as dependents on their parents' taxes, and that generally those over 18 are on their own and making their own purchases.
Abrams: Now they're locked into a number and we don't know what the February forecast is. It would be a shame if we could do a larger rebate but because of precipitous action for political purposes we would be precluded from doing so.Abrams says the Senate version of the rebate is cumbersome and expensive to administer. He says by the end of the session he wants to convince the Senate and the governor to permanently cut tax rates, so that in the future the Legislature won't be in the business of rebating money.