Republicans’ tax cut plan the Minnesota Senate passed Thursday would totally eliminate state income tax on Social Security benefits, regardless of income.  Anoka Senator Jim Abeler says the current tax causes some people to leave Minnesota — either for just over half the year, or longer than that:

“They don’t go to the grocery store, they don’t take a part-time job as a senior, they don’t greet at Walmart, they don’t help at a nursing home, and they don’t become part of our grandkids’ lives as much.”

North Mankato Democrat Nick Frentz responds statistics don’t bear it out:  Minnesota’s population growth rate is above the national average:

“The question is not just who’s moving to where it’s a little bit warmer.  The question is, who’s staying to raise a young family in our outstanding schools.”

Democrats say eliminating state tax on Social Security benefits would mainly help the wealthy.

Republican Senator Carla Nelson from Rochester calls the state income tax on Social Security benefits “double-taxation”:

“Minnesotans bought those benefits, year after year, paycheck after paycheck, when they paid those Social Security taxes.”