Boosting business is on the agendaRepublicans in charge of the Legislature the last two years pushed initiatives to help businesses, such as lowering taxes, as ways to improve the Minnesota economy.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Republicans in charge of the Legislature the last two years pushed initiatives to help businesses, such as lowering taxes, as ways to improve the Minnesota economy.
Democrats who take legislative control Jan. 8 look more at making sure existing programs have adequate funding.
“Make sure the people in the workforce are well trained and that businesses have good employees,” Sen. Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, said is key. “We deal with some of the not large economic issues, but the smaller day-to-day details of making sure you have a good workforce and a good infrastructure.”
Skoe and other Democrats say that education beginning in early childhood helps produce good workers.
Sen.-elect Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, said lawmakers need to find ways to reduce business property taxes, “which is becoming the No. 1 tax burden on businesses today in our area. It is driving more businesses out than any other tax.”
Laws lowering costs for firms near the borders of low-tax states like North Dakota and South Dakota need to remain in place, Eken added.
“It is very, very real that we have businesses right in the district that I serve that have left our area because of the tax climate and have gone to Sioux Falls,” Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, said.
At the same time, Hamilton added, tax-cut programs like the Jobs Opportunity Building Zones law helps attract businesses.
Incentives for businesses to invest in rural Minnesota are important, he said.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, said the economy again will be a priority, but warned Democrats’ policies could put it in jeopardy.
“We’re looking at a situation here where we’ve got somewhat of a fragile economic recovery that’s happening here,” he said. “I think it’s very important that we do not enact policies that will stifle the progress in the alacrity with which this economy will recover.”
One of those policies could be raising taxes, Drazkowski said.