The Star Tribune Released a Surplus Plan--But Did They Get it Right?

Date: May 03, 2016 Last Edit: May 04, 2016

Minnesota’s largest paper released its ideas for the state’s budget surplus. How friendly is their plan to small business though?

The Star Tribune Released a Surplus Plan—But Did They Get it Right?

The
Star Tribune’s editorial board has published a
chart that shows how the editorial board would use the state’s $900
million surplus.

Among
the suggestions is leaving $150 million of the surplus intact in case
additional spending needs to be done. But leaving any surplus money in
government coffers squanders a chance to provide Minnesota residents and
business owners with some tax relief.

Instead,
two-thirds of the surplus should go toward tax relief and the remaining third
should go toward road and bridge repair, said NFIB/Minnesota Leadership Council
Chairman Stephen Becher.

“If
the money is going toward anything other than roads, bridges or tax relief, I’m
opposed,” Becher said. But if legislators follow the Star Tribune’s
budget, small business owners can expect another tax increase.

The
paper’s proposal calls for a “modest boost in transportation-related fees and
taxes,” which would be unnecessary and bad for business, Becher said.
Transportation costs can be completely funded by the surplus without any tax
increases, he said.

Where
the paper does get it right, though, is the need for tax cuts.

The
Star Tribune’s budget includes a $44 million business property tax cut,
which would be welcome relief for small business owners across the state.
Minnesota’s
property taxes are the second highest nationwide in rural
areas and sixth highest in urban areas, according to the Star Tribune.
The paper’s allocation is a start, but more needs to be done to help small
businesses.

“I
know a lot of business owners who are leaving because we are one of the highest
tax states,” Becher said.

Reducing
the inheritance tax is another crucial tax cut legislators need to approve to
lift up residents throughout the state, Becher said.

Overall,
cutting taxes for Minnesota’s business owners would help keep Minnesota
competitive with other states whose policies are more business friendly, Becher
said. “We’re a poor job-creation state.”

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Minnesota

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