Senate Republicans unveil jobs bill

Republican leaders in the Minnesota Senate have unveiled a package of job-creating measures that would provide businesses with regulatory relief and $200 million in tax cuts.

The first bill of the 2011 session would gradually reduce the business income tax rate by half over the next six years. It would roll back business property taxes to 2009 levels and also speed up the process of state government permits for business projects. Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, said the bill gives job creators a reason to choose Minnesota.

“We don’t just compete with Wisconsin and Iowa any more,” Michel said. “We have to compete with Singapore and Malaysia. So, we need to set a basic foundation for Minnesota job creators, and we need to welcome them back to the state.”

Michel said the Senate jobs package will have to travel through several committees, and might not be completed until the end of session.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, criticized the GOP bill. He said Republicans are sending the wrong message on job creation.

“Cutting corporate taxes is a poor tool to spur economic growth,” Bakk said. “Not only is it extremely costly to our state, it provides absolutely no guarantee it will create jobs or help Minnesota’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. All this bill does is shift a greater share of the state’s tax burden onto working families.”

  • Carl Sewall

    The lede of this piece describes, with un-journalistic credulity, the Republicans’ corporate tax give-away as a “package of job-creating measures.” There is no reason whatsoever to believe that letting corporations keep even more of what little they contribute to state revenue will increase the number of jobs. Similar things have been tried many (many, many) times in the past, and have never been reliably been shown to work. Remember Pawlenty’s Job-z?

    Even if they did, this is more evidence of amount of control the corporations have over us, and how little they care about their own long-term health. Each state is coerced into this downward race to serve them.

    Minnesota has long been a home to large and successful corporations, even with some of the highest taxes around. Why? It’s not because of our climate. It’s because there are more important factors than taxes in creating a good business envirnoment: an educated workforce, good infrastructure, neighborhoods in which people want to live. Tragically, we are cutting funding to schools and other necessities so that Geoff Michel’s Edina constituents (how many executives live there?) can continue stuffing their well-lined pockets.