ST. PAUL -- Gov. Jesse Ventura proposed a $470 million sales tax rebate Friday that, unlike the 1999 version, would include senior citizens and the disabled who live on Social Security income.
The average check for single filers would be about $139. For married couples filing jointly, it would be $280. The rebates would range from $125 to $1,750 for families and from $71 to $875 for single filers.
The rebate would be similar to the 1999 rebate and would be based on 1998 Minnesota taxable income. The checks would be mailed in June or July and most Minnesotans wouldn't need to apply.
''This is real money that's sitting in the bank,'' Ventura said. ''It's not a projection or an estimate. The money's there, and you just sit home and wait for your check.''
While the size of Ventura's proposed rebate is in the same ballpark as the GOP House and DFL Senate proposals, some parts don't mesh perfectly and will have to be worked out in coming weeks. The biggest concern for House Republicans is the governor's reluctance on permanent tax cuts.
Ventura's rebate would include anyone with at least $1 in tax liability in 1998 or who claimed the property tax rebate. Those with Social Security or disability income also would be eligible.
Anyone who can be claimed as a dependent on another's return would not receive a rebate, under Ventura's plan.
House Minority Leader Tom Pugh, DFL-South St. Paul, called for prompt action on the bill, but he wants to include those left out last year.
''They paid sales taxes -- they deserved a fair share,'' Pugh said.
Ventura said he had ''no opinion'' on whether people left out should get retroactive checks. ''Those are things that can be worked out,'' he said.
An estimated 3.2 million people would receive rebates, 245,000 more than 1999, according to the state Department of Revenue.
A rebate proposal approved by the Senate Tax Committee would cost $476 million. The centerpiece, a sales tax rebate worth $338.5 million, would expand eligibility to include senior citizens relying on Social Security. The DFL also would include dependents who are at least 18 years old.
The package includes a $114 million retroactive rebate for those left out of the 1999 rebate, including seniors, dependents and those who simply missed the deadline. Ventura's plan wouldn't apply retroactively.
House Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty, R-Eagan, said the rebate differences could be worked out, but the GOP also wants to cut income tax rates.
Under Ventura's plan, a married couple with $30,000 in Minnesota taxable income would receive a rebate worth $251. A single filer with the same income would receive $193.
A couple with $60,000 in Minnesota taxable income would receive a $354 rebate. A single person with the same income would receive $254.
A couple with $100,000 in Minnesota taxable income would receive $499. A single person earning the same amount would receive $389.
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