State's Largest Small Business Group Announces Legislative Agenda

Date: March 03, 2016

State's Largest Small Business Group Announces Legislative Agenda

St Paul (March
3, 2016): The state’s most significant small business group, the National
Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), announced it’s 2016 legislative
agenda today. Their list of priorities includes finally conforming Minnesota’s
estate tax exemption to the federal exemption, an unemployment insurance tax
credit, establishing uniform statewide wage and benefit standards and a
cessation of abusive, litigious practices in the state.

“In terms
of the estate tax, Minnesota’s existing law is way out of conformity with the
federal exemption. Thanks to this year’s significant surplus, the time to
conform to the feds is now. If not this year, than when?” questioned NFIB
Minnesota State Director, Mike Hickey. “Speaking of surpluses, the unemployment
insurance trust fund is flush with a $1.6 billion surplus and a one-time
credit/reduction in unemployment insurance taxes is certainly justifiable.”

Minnesota is
currently lagging behind in the Estate Tax exemption. Even though there is an
existing phase in of $2 million per person through 2018, the federal exemption
currently sits at $5.43 million per person. Minnesota’s low level of exemption
is a huge issue for family held small businesses and farms and it speaks
volumes in terms of retaining retirees in the state considering how low it
currently is.

Taxes remain a
high priority for NFIB. The state general portion of the commercial property
tax accounts for 20-30% of a businesses’ total property taxes. Hickey noted
that Minnesota has the second highest commercial property taxes for rural
business property and the sixth highest for a metro property. In comparison to
other states, commercial taxes are 200% higher than many neighboring states and
90% higher than the national average. Using part of the surplus to reduce this
uncompetitive tax is high priority. “ The time to enact tax reforms and
reductions is when the state has a large surplus and time is now” said Hickey

“We pride
ourselves on helping small businesses thrive in the state of Minnesota and
unfortunately far too many entrepreneurs fall victim to aggressive law suits
brought on by abusing the public accommodation/ADA law. This session
legislation will be proposed that will not allow attorneys to sue for financial
settlements and will require that businesses be made aware of a problem with
their public accommodations and given a chance to correct the problem prior to
a lawsuit being filed,” continued Hickey.

Many agree that
the litigious society small business owners must operate in has grown
increasingly out of control. Recently an attorney filed over 100 lawsuits
demanding financial payments from small businesses alleging they were out of
conformity with public accommodation laws to protect the disabled. NFIB is
expecting strong, bipartisan support for this measure that is according to
Hickey, desperately needed.

session will certainly focus on many lawsuit related issues including
legislation that would make it more difficult for injured trespassers to sue
the landowners whom they were trespassing on,” said Hickey. “Additionally,
another measure would reduce the amount of prejudgment interest that defendants
have to pay on judgements from the current outdated rate of 10% to
approximately 4%.”

2016 is shaping
up to be an active session for the small business community and NFIB will be
advocating for its members every step along the way.


Related Content: Small Business News | Minnesota

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