Business tax to general fund is an issue that needs attention
Minnesota businesses, like homeowners, pay property taxes to their local governments. These local property taxes pay for schools, snow removal, local street repairs and other essential services. However, unlike homeowners, businesses pay an extra tax that goes straight into the state’s general fund. Since 2002, more than $10 billion has been sent from our communities to the state to pay for this extra property tax. Fact is, the average business in Minnesota pays more to the state in property taxes than it pays separately to any of our local governments — schools, townships, cities or counties.
And the statewide property tax is on autopilot, going up by the rate of inflation every year, without any vote or intervention by the Legislature. Soon, this tax will take $1 billion every year out of our local economies.
Let’s use a portion of the state’s projected budget surplus to reduce Minnesota’s extra property tax and eliminate the automatic inflator. I think we can all agree that money is better spent by Minnesota’s job creators to invest in their employees and their businesses.
Brad Meier, Plymouth
The writer is president of the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce.