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Letter: Minnesota's tax system ranks 49th

Minnesota's Senate Majority Research (DFL) recently issued a press release in which it claimed Minnesota ranked 15th lowest in business taxes nationwide. Unfortunately, this press release did not tell the whole story. The most reliable, non-partisan source of business tax information is compiled and published annually by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. Their sole mission is to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship, which is the underlying foundation for job growth in America.

So, what are the real facts? The council carefully evaluates 16 different tax measures and combines those into one tax score that allows all 50 states to be compared and ranked (all taxes are included such as income, sales, property, unemployment, gas, etc.) After careful preparation and analysis the "Business Tax Index" for 2010 has just been released, which ranks states from best to worst. Not surprisingly, South Dakota was ranked as the best tax system in the nation for small businesses. Again, for the third year in a row, Minnesota was ranked as the 49th worst tax system out of 50 states.

Is it any wonder why Minnesota is losing business investment and jobs to surrounding states? Is it any wonder why Minnesota's unemployment rate is 7.4 percent while our neighboring states' unemployment rates are in the 4-5 percent range? What good does it do to spend billions on education when our young people are forced to look elsewhere to find decent paying jobs?

The next time a Minnesota politician asks you for your vote, ask him or her what specific actions they will take to reverse the disastrous "tax and spend" policies which are driving business investment and jobs out of the state. Better yet, demand accountability and support only those candidates who demonstrate "common sense" in reducing the state's hostile tax burden and expanding private sector job growth.

A.L. Kleinke