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Businesses should get room to grow

May 9, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recently vetoed a tax-relief package for Minnesota businesses. He believes that making the state more business-friendly will hurt other citizens - homeowners - and could worsen future budget deficits. If that is the case, then why not work with the Legislature to get tax breaks to homeowners, and start looking for more ways to trim state government so that there are no deficits?

The tax-relief plan backed by the Republican-led Legislature would have created a statewide freeze on business property taxes and relaxed some company sales tax rules, all in an attempt to spur business growth, and therefore new hiring. The bill may have had a flaw in relying on current state reserves to "pay for"?it. But we have to ask: Whose money is it, anyway? There is an entity called the state of Minnesota, but that entity is empowered by the people who pay the bills, namely the citizens. If their money is returned to them, that does not "cost" the state anything. The state itself is not an enterprise separate and above those it serves.

Dayton, of course, believes just the opposite. He wants a bigger state that does more, taxes more, spends more and involves itself deeper in all of our lives.

The governor can redeem himself, of course. He just has to get serious about opening up opportunity in Minnesota by working with lawmakers to relieve burdens on business. We thought that was something the governor understood when he helped in the effort to speed up regulatory reviews so projects can begin faster. Dayton needs to stop thinking in terms businesses being somehow pitted against others in the state. If Minnesota businesses prosper, we all benefit.



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