By Doug Loon
We recently asked Minnesota voters what they thought about current legislative proposals to raise business taxes and the gas tax, and to impose mandates on employers and employees.
The poll results reflect that Minnesotans want our state to be affordable for families and businesses to grow and flourish. High tax rates negatively impact investment, wages, entrepreneurship, and talent retention and recruitment – the very items needed for a strong and growing economy.
It’s a message we all need to convey as the Legislature enters the home stretch and is embraced by the Minnesota Chamber Federation as we advocate to strengthen the business environment for the benefit of all Minnesotans.
Among the survey findings:
- Voters statewide oppose the governor’s proposed business taxes by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. In Greater Minnesota, it’s 3-to-1.
- Minnesotans who strongly oppose a new payroll tax to fund a state-run paid leave program outnumber all those who support it. Opposition is stronger in Greater Minnesota where 29 support and 65 percent oppose the proposal.
- Nearly two-thirds of voters statewide oppose the proposed 20-cent-per-gallon gas tax, and 54 percent strongly oppose it. Almost four times as many voters in Greater Minnesota oppose the increase as those who support it.
The Legislature is debating proposals to increase taxes and fees by nearly $12 billion over the next four years. Much of that burden would fall directly on the business community with cost increases estimated at $5 billion to $6 billion. The proposals would set roadblocks to investment, slow economic growth and threaten Minnesota’s affordability.
These proposals are not only bad for business. They hit the pocketbooks of all Minnesotans. That’s the analysis of the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Higher business costs eventually are passed on to employers, consumers and investors.
Minnesota has a $1 billion budget surplus and record cash reserves. This is not the time to raise the cost of doing business in the state and make Minnesota less affordable for all. Let’s instead minimize the headwinds and enhance the ability of private-sector job-creators to grow the economy.