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To the Editor,
Minnesota is home to such corporate leaders as Medtronic and 3M, while every day small businesses across the state demonstrate our citizen’s ingenuity and drive. Our state possesses a high quality of life and is a recognized economic leader. But Minnesotans are also subject to the 8th highest tax burden in the country and our business climate rates in the bottom ten, as shown in the 2009 Tax Foundation survey. During this time of economic hardship, Minnesota is at risk of losing our leading economy by harmful tax proposals and a failure to incentivize business investment and growth. We are committed to preventing such a dire outcome, and this Wednesday we participated in a business listening session to hear directly from our local business owners what we can do to help them recover and grow.
First and foremost, our businesses and our families cannot afford any more taxes. In the 2009 legislature, the DFL passed billions of dollars in tax increases and also voted to eliminate such important credits as the home mortgage interest deduction. We are proud to have voted against these harmful proposals and to have upheld Governor Pawlenty’s veto of the tax bill. Attendees at the business listening session held nothing back in saying that these tax increases would have been ruinous, and we are committed to safeguarding Minnesotan’s hard-earned dollars again in 2010.
The state does need to fix its budget problem, but we cannot achieve that by centering on the state budget alone. Every year the legislature focuses on its own budget, and every year it is a struggle. The only way to break free of this cycle and to truly solve our budget problem is to focus on the needs of the private economy-of our businesses large and small-and enable long-term growth and prosperity.
One of the keys to achieve this is incentivizing business investment and growth. Instead of expanding in Minnesota, corporations are expanding operations in places ranging from Texas to Singapore. Even worse, some pick up altogether and leave Minnesota, lured by the incentives offered in other states. We must reverse this trend and not only give birth to leading companies but facilitate their growth and attract existing corporations looking to relocate. Companies like Medtronic and 3M are proof of our state’s tremendous workforce, and with the right incentives we can foster a business climate that fully utilizes all of our assets.
Looking to the 2010 session, we are committed to translating the ideas and concerns of our business community into common-sense, effective policy. We encourage your continued feedback, and together we will jumpstart Minnesota’s economy and get back on the road of growth and prosperity.
State Representative Tim Sanders, Blaine
State Representative Peggy Scott, Andover
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