Economy

Free to earn a living

Minnesota cannot smugly assume that our quality of life, good as it is, will be enough to make businesses overlook how business unfriendly we have become. Minnesota-based Medtronic has just become the largest US firm to renounce their US tax status. Sadly Medtronic is moving their legal address from Minnesota to Ireland. This isn’t surprising when Minnesota businesses already suffer the third highest corporate income taxes in the nation (9.8%). This is within the US, which already has the highest corporate taxes in the world.

Instead of making it easier to start or grow a business, lawmakers made Minnesota’s business climate even more unfriendly by raising taxes by $1.8 billion in 2013. Our state’s tax business ranking fell to the 47th worst nationally, and we now have the fourth highest individual income taxes in the country. The 2013 Minnesota Business Barometer Survey showed the highest level of concern about the state’s business climate in the survey’s 10-year existence, according to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

As your governor, I would never take businesses for granted. Our quality of living is dependent on the availability of jobs. Fostering a thriving economy would be my number one priority. We should repeal or reduce taxes that harm Minnesota’s competitiveness, as well as streamline and reduce regulations and red tape. We also need to eliminate unnecessary occupational licenses that prevent ordinary people from following their dreams.