In an effort to prevent many Minnesotans from having to amend their tax returns, State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) asked members of the Minnesota House to suspend Constitutional rules and immediately take up his bill that conforms state tax rates with that of the federal government.

The new House Democrat majority shot down the idea, and killed the bill on a party line vote.

Davids' legislation would have conformed Minnesota's individual income tax and corporate franchise tax to most federal changes enacted since April 14, 2011, for the tax year 2012 only.

Some of the provisions included extending the higher education tuition deduction, extending the educator classroom expense deduction, extending the authority for individuals age 70-1⁄2 or older to transfer up to $100,000 from an IRA or Roth IRA directly to a qualified charity, and extending the increase in the federal adjusted gross income limit on the amount of qualified conservation easements that may be claimed as a charitable deduction.

Davids is unsure when the House majority will tackle this issue.

"Not allowing conformity to move forward hurts taxpayers," Davids said. "People are now beginning to receive their W-2's and other end-of-the-year tax returns in the mail and are eager to get started on their tax returns and collect their refund. I have no idea why the majority party won't give them this opportunity."

Davids sworn in last week

Minnesota's 2013 Legislative Session officially began Jan. 8 with Greg Davids (R-Preston) and 133 other state representatives being sworn into office.

"It is truly an honor to represent the fine folks in District 28B," Davids said. "The Legislature has a lot to accomplish over the next two years."

Davids said he was pleased with his recent committee assignments, as he will serve as the Republican Lead for the House Taxes Committee.

Davids is also a member of the Capital Investment, Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy and Ways and Means committees.

Davids said he was disappointed with the Democrat decision to eliminate an agriculture finance committee, even though it chose to increase the number of House committees overall.

"It sends a poor message to rural Minnesota that you don't value agriculture enough to assign its interests to a separate finance committee," Davids said. "Further, the Democrats have combined agriculture with environment finance, whose chair lives in Minneapolis and has historically voted against agriculture finance proposals."