No tax hike will mean more jobsSeveral days ago I received some good news from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. In July, Minnesota employers added 10,300 jobs, which is the state’s first monthly employment gain since August 2008.
By: Tim Kelly, MN District 28A Rep.,
Several days ago I received some good news from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. In July, Minnesota employers added 10,300 jobs, which is the state’s first monthly employment gain since August 2008.
Eight of the state’s 11 industry sectors gained employment during the month, led by leisure and hospitality, which added 3,900 jobs. Other gains were posted by government (2,800), manufacturing (1,700), professional and business services (1,700), education and health services (1,200), construction (700), logging and mining (200) and financial activities (100).
The agency also announced the results of its second-quarter survey, which showed 31,400 job vacancies between April and June 2009, down 39.4 percent from the same period a year ago. The survey showed that there were 7.7 unemployed people for each vacancy statewide during the quarter.
The survey also indicates that over 95 percent of Minnesota employers expect to increase or maintain employment levels through the end of the year.
More good news: Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell 0.3 percent from June to a seasonally adjusted 8.1 percent. This means our unemployment is below the national average in 9.4 percent in July.
Throughout our state’s economic troubles, I’ve been preaching a simple message: Ease the financial burdens of those operating businesses, create a better business environment and allow companies to expand and hire back those that have been laid off.
Raising taxes is the easiest way to solve a budget shortfall, but had you forced working families and business owners to pay more, it would have led to more layoffs and higher unemployment.
Yet the Democratic leadership chose to raise your taxes again last session. Governor Pawlenty chose to veto those proposals and reduce state spending.
The result: The budget was balanced, your taxes weren’t raised, and job opportunities across Minnesota are becoming more plentiful.
Let’s not forget some basic economics. If more people are working and paying income taxes, and are buying goods and services and paying sales taxes, then there’s really no need to raise these tax rates. If private sector business thrives, the revenue collection issues at the state level tend to take care of themselves.
I’m encouraged by these positive employment statistics, and hopeful that next session we can create a more business-friendly environment in this state.
But I was not encouraged by the dog-and-pony show antics legislative leadership displayed throughout last session, and am disappointed this act will continue in the coming weeks.
In a move undoubtedly made to generate publicity and again attempt to give Pawlenty a black eye, Democrats called a “Minnesota Leadership Summit” in September. They’ve invited former governors, House speakers, and Senate leaders to “find solutions to the state’s budget problem.”
Pawlenty declined the invitation, saying: “The state already has an annual ‘Minnesota Leadership Summit.’ It’s called the legislative session, and it lasts approximately five months. This past year, rather than taking timely and decisive action to deal with our budget deficit, the Legislature’s DFL leadership wasted the first few months of the session. Passage of your final budget bills in the last few minutes before midnight on the final day of the session was indicative of how you managed the situation.”
He continued: “Rather than calling together former legislators and governors to rehash already established concerns, the Legislature’s time would be better spent coming up with reasonable solutions, negotiating with my Administration, passing bills, and having them signed into law.”
I agree. Crafting bills that will put more people to work — not force them to pay more in taxes — would continue to lower our unemployment numbers and give Minnesota all it needs to fund necessary state government programs.
Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, can be reached at (651) 380-4345.