Minnesota businesses have always contributed to our economy and our state in a meaningful way. Partners in the community. Job providers. Taxpayers. But the current legislative majorities seem determined to make doing business in our state as hard as possible. Governor Dayton proposes to raise taxes by $1.8 billion – three times more than the temporary, short-term deficit of $627 million. The governor’s proposal, unfortunately, is the floor. The Senate and House targets are even bigger. The governor wants to increase the top income-tax rate to 9.85 percent, which will impact 21,000 of Minnesota’s most successful businesses. House Democrats upped the ante by proposing a temporary surcharge on the highest wage-earners, raising the rate to 11 percent, second highest in the nation.
Income-tax increases represent only a slice of how the Legislature is treating small businesses this year. You’ll be paying higher insurance premiums to fund the new health insurance exchange. Brace for an increase in the state’s minimum wage. Look for street improvement fees, water appropriation fees, transit and gas taxes, and new energy mandates just to name a few.
We talk to businesses every day – our members. As one member said, “It’s so disheartening; I don’t know what to say.” Many will say nothing, but are already making decisions about their investments in our community. Senator Eken and Representative Lien, we know you have many pressures and demands at the Capitol. We ask that you don’t lose sight of the importance of keeping small and midsized business successful in our state.