Minnesota United FC president Nick Rogers

The Minnesota United soccer team is waging a campaign for tax breaks to help pay for a new stadium in Minneapolis.  Mayor Betsy Hodges opposes waiving property tax breaks, saying

“If there were some other developer or some other project, who came to the city and said, ‘we want to put a $250 million development at one of the places in the city that is most ripe for economic development, on which we expect to make a significant profit, and all we need is to never ever pay property taxes on the site of that development,’ they would be laughed out of the city.”

But many on the city council are open to the idea, including Barbara Johnson, council president.

“I think it’s important for people to have many, many, many reasons to come to our city, including going to the theaters, including going to professional sports events,” Johnson said. “We’re a regional center. So if soccer’s going happen, I want it to happen in my city.”

Today’s Question: Should Minneapolis extend property tax breaks to help Minnesota United build a new soccer stadium?

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“For Minnesota’s growing e-cigarette industry, the House omnibus tax bill looks like a bust,” writes MPR News reporter Catharine Richert.

Buried in the bill is a provision that would change the way e-cigarettes are taxed. Right now, disposable e-cigarettes or vapor used in reusable e-cigarettes is taxed at 95 percent of the wholesale price of tobacco products.

The tax bill would change the rules to impose a 30 cent tax on every milliliter of vaping solution.

Vaping retailers and manufacturers say that amounts to an 800 percent tax increase.

“This will crush the vaping industry in Minnesota,” said Tim Koester President of the Independent Vapor Retailers of Minnesota. “I suspect a majority of Minnesota vape businesses will not be able to operate much longer if this new tax is imposed.”

Today’s Question: Do you support a tax increase on e-cigarettes?

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“It’s possible to rank employees in entirely new ways in the age of big data. People in sales are used to seeing their numbers compared. But now everything from how well truck drivers drive, to individual author web traffic and how quickly engineers write code can be quantified in great detail,” writes Max Nisen for Quartz.

Companies need to be careful about how they use that information. Ranking people publicly, even if it’s done with the intention of creating friendly competition or transparency, can backfire depending on a company’s culture.

In a new study of a trucking company in the midst of adopting Toyota’s famous lean principles (which emphasize respect, humility, and collective outcomes over individual ones) researchers from NYU and Columbia found that putting up a leaderboard comparing individual performance had vastly different effects, depending on whether or not an individual site had undergone the new cultural training.

Today’s Question: Is your employer effective at measuring performance?

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