Nelson applauds legislation to expand education tax credit to reduce barriers to CTE programs

Senator Carla Nelson
2 min readMar 13, 2024

The Minnesota Senate Taxes Committee on Wednesday heard bipartisan legislation that will expand the application of the K-12 education credit to include expenses for career and technical education (CTE) programs. State Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), a co-author of the bill, applauded the hearing.

“I am so glad the Taxes Committee heard this important bill,” Senator Nelson said. “Preparing students for successful careers is crucial for Minnesota’s future prosperity. Too often, amazing hands-on training opportunities like those provided by organizations like Future Farmers of America and SkillsUSA get overlooked due to their non-traditional settings outside of regular schools. By extending the K-12 education tax credit to cover these programs, we can make them accessible to more and more engaged students. The end result is a win-win-win: students gain a pathway to well-paying jobs, businesses acquire the talented employees they need, and families receive tax relief for prioritizing career readiness.”

The Association for Career and Technical Education says roughly half of Minnesota’s jobs require some skills training; less than a four-year degree, but more than a high school diploma.

According to a non-partisan analysis, the bill expands the K-12 child care tax credit to include expenses related to:

  • Career and technical education programs;
  • Participation in a student organization that is a component of the program curriculum, and equipment that is required for participation in the program; and
  • Transportation outside regular school hours that is directly related to the qualifying child’s participation in the program.

A lower- and middle-income Minnesota taxpayer is currently allowed a refundable income tax credit equal to 75% of eligible education expenses for a qualifying child in kindergarten through grade 12, with a maximum credit of $1,500 for each qualifying child. Eligible expenses include fees for instruction outside the regular school day or school year, expenses for textbooks or instructional materials, and transportation costs paid to others.

If signed into law, the bill would be effective for the 2024 tax year. The maximum credit is phased out beginning at an adjusted gross income of $73,760 in 2024, and the phase-out schedule is dependent on the number of qualifying children. The phase-out threshold would be adjusted annually for inflation.

SF 4552 was laid over for possible inclusion in a tax bill package later in session.