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      The Lee Family's Story: Eliminating the “Marriage Penalty”

      Posted on April 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      2014_04_16_lee_family
      The new tax cuts will provide Ching and Pi Lee an estimated $180 that they can save or spend in our local economy.

      By 1986, Ching Lee decided it was time to leave Taiwan and join his extended family, who had already immigrated to the Twin Cities. Trained as mechanical engineer in Taiwan, Ching was able to find work as a manufacturing technician for a high-tech company in the West Metro.

      A new country and a new job were not the only changes for Ching in 1986. He also fell in love with and married a fellow Taiwanese transplant, Pi Liu. Not strangers, Pi and Ching first met in Taiwan before becoming reacquainted in Minnesota. 


      After getting married in Anoka, the Lees settled in the West Metro – eventually buying a home in Champlin. And after raising two children and working for decades in Minnesota’s burgeoning high-tech industry, Pi and Ching are now looking forward to a well-deserved retirement.

      After they retire in the next five to eight years, the Lees look forward to spending more time in their garden, where they raise both flowers and vegetables. They also plan to spend more time working with area Taiwanese-American groups and giving to the Champlin community through park cleanups and other civic initiatives.

      The Lees love Minnesota, and for more than 28 years they have loved one another. But as Minnesota residents, like all married couples in our state, they were subject to a tax penalty just because they were married.

      This session, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature eliminated the marriage penalty. Next tax season, the Lees expect to save about $180 – more money Ching and Pi can use toward their garden, spend at a local business, or put aside in their savings account for a rainy day. They are not the only married couple expecting to save – overall, 650,000 married couples across Minnesota will save an average $115 per year.

      Middle Class Tax Cuts

      This year, Governor Dayton and the DFL Legislature worked quickly to enact $508 million in tax cuts that will benefit over 1.2 million middle class Minnesotans, and thousands of Minnesota businesses. More than 650,000 married couples will benefit from the elimination of the marriage penalty, which will take effect in tax year 2014.

      This story  may be viewed as a PDF file. You also can learn more about all the tax cuts enacted by Governor Dayton here.