LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - The tax deadline is just weeks away, and if you live in Minnesota but work here in Wisconsin, you have twice the paperwork to file.
Minnesota and Wisconsin used to have an agreement allowing their residents to live in one state, work in another, and only file taxes once. That agreement expired back in 2009, and since then, people have had to spend more time and money filing taxes in both states. One Minnesota lawmaker is hoping to save some of that money with new legislation.
Republican Sen. Jeremy Miller of Winona has proposed legislation that would reinstate income tax reciprocity between his state and Wisconsin. The bill was introduced to the Minnesota Senate on Wednesday and is currently in committee.
"Those residents who live in one state and work in another would only have to file income tax returns in the state they live in," Miller said,
Sonja Hoskins is one of those residents. She's been making the drive from her home in Caledonia to her job in La Crosse for the past 20 years. The commute across state lines is routine for her - filing taxes in both Minnesota and Wisconsin isn't.
"Because of those extra forms, [I'm] paying extra to have that completed," Hoskins said.
Accountants are crunching numbers to get done in time for April 15. Adding another state income filing for people like Hoskins means multiplying the workload for them.
Nearly 80,000 residents live and work across the border - that's about 40 percent of the filings accountants see in La Crosse.
"They draw all the way from Iowa, into Minnesota, and into Wisconsin, so there's quite a few returns that are affected," accountant Jason Steinhoff said.
Income tax reciprocity would make Sonja Hoskin's life a little simpler, and a little cheaper - though there are some things about being a Minnesota resident, that won't change.
"I still have to drive the 35 minutes," she laughs, "but that's okay."
This isn't the first time lawmakers have tried to reinstate the reciprocity agreement. Miller tried to do it with similar legislation back in 2011, but talks between the two states ultimately failed.
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