Do tax increases kill jobs? Minn. soon to find out

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm •  Published: February 13, 2013

"What's real is that quality of life is a decision-maker for the big players," says Democratic Rep. Alice Hausman.

To the east, Wisconsin is like a photo negative of Minnesota politically.  On the day Dayton unveiled his tax proposal, Republican Gov. Scott Walker said he might "put a little bit more of a push" into luring Minnesota companies.  He had already put Wisconsin "Open for Business" billboards along Minnesota borders; he's now pushing for a $340 million income tax cut.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard's administration has sponsored print and radio ads and direct mail directed at unhappy executives.

"Tired of Taxes? Call Me," read the postcards.

"I can tell you that we are actively working a number of lead prospects from Minnesota," said Pat Costello, Daugaard's commissioner of economic development, though he wouldn't reveal any.

Not all of Dayton's proposed changes are increases. He wants to lower the overall sales tax rate to help middle-class families, reduce the corporate income tax and freeze business property taxes. But he's also wiping out a sacrosanct clothing exemption the Mall of America uses to attract out-of-state shoppers.

Minneapolis is the fourth-largest printing center in the U.S., according to Printing Industry Midwest, a trade association. Bolger said he's fine with paying higher personal income taxes.

But he said his Bolger Printing company had to shed more than 100 of his 320 jobs because of the recession, and "I never want to go through that again" if he starts losing jobs to lower cost competitors.

 "I'm a 58-year-old Minnesota boy. Wisconsin is probably not in my future," Bolger said. "But I would have to shrink employees, decent middle class jobs. I thought that's what this is about."


AP reporters Brian Bakst in St. Paul, Scott Bauer and Todd Richmond in Madison, Wis., John Hanna in Topeka, Kan., Catherine Lucey in Des Moines, David Mercer in Springfield, Ill., and Sean Murphy in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.