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Letter: Government costs going up, not down

By Beth Kadoun, Director, Tax and Fiscal Policy, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Minnesota’s price of government is increasing, which is not quite clear in the Oct. 31 story, “Minnesota ‘price of government’ expected to drop.” The price was estimated at 14.7 percent before Gov. Mark Dayton and the 2013 Legislature passed $2.3 billion in new taxes. It now will increase to 15.1 percent. The increase may sound small, but it amounts to a lot of new taxes — more than $1 billion in increased taxes for 2015.

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What is not shown is the impact of these new taxes that will fall disproportionately on Minnesota’s job-creators and hinder our economic growth. Minnesota will have some of the highest tax rates in the nation, which negatively affects our state’s business climate. The 2013 Minnesota Business Barometer Survey saw the biggest drop in our business climate ranking in its 10-year history, and 61 percent of businesses stated high taxes are one of the biggest barriers to job creation. Undoing some of these new taxes should be a priority of the 2014 session. A good first step would be repeal of the new business-to-business sales taxes.