The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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June 19, 2013

Democrats used bait and switch on business


One in five jobs in Minnesota is related to the agriculture industry [3]. The best interests of rural Minnesota and agriculture are not met by a chair who has no knowledge in those areas.

When folks voted for a Legislature that said, “We need to tax the rich,” what they actually got was a Democrat majority in both the House and the Senate (along with the governor) that had such an insatiable appetite for spending that they decided to tax everybody, a $2.2 Billion tax increase — not just on the rich.

Yes, this Democrat Legislature did tax the rich, making Minnesota the fourth highest taxed state in the nation behind Hawaii, California, and Oregon[4] by adding a new fourth tier tax, increasing the marginal tax rate by approximately 25 percent. Minnesota also has the seventh highest sales tax rate [5], as well as one of the highest corporate tax rates in the nation [6].

Many of these so-called rich are your neighbors who own an S-Corporation or LLC-structured business and pay their business taxes through their personal income tax returns. Every dollar paid in taxes means less to invest in more employees, machinery and equipment and long-term economic growth. I actually know some folks that are considering leaving Minnesota due to this increase.

The Democrat controlled Legislature and governor added new taxes for: warehousing and storage services, telecommunications equipment, electronic and commercial equipment repair including farm equipment, satellite service, gifts, digital product Internet sales and a 48.4 percent motor vehicle rental tax increase [7]. All these taxes will negatively impact Minnesota families and small businesses including farmers.

Additionally, cigarette tax increases of $1.60 per pack, higher taxes on cigars and other tobacco products are clearly regressive taxes levied against the poor. Remember, the Democrats raised this tax and spent the money before it is even collected. When cigarette taxes are increased, many will purchase cigarettes from a neighboring state or less likely, stop smoking. If either of these things occurs, we will again be deficit spending.

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