Tax Relief and Job Creation Act: May 1, 2012

Dear Friends,

Tax Relief and Job Creation Act Passed  May 1, 2012
The Tax Relief and Job Creation Act passed on the House floor today embodies a much needed market-based approach to tax policies. It also makes most of them permanent so businesses have some certainty in their future.

Considering the fact that Minnesota is near the bottom on the Tax Climate Index and our neighboring states are near the top, this bill is vital. Making Minnesota a more economically competitive and attractive place for job creation is a policy that deserves the Governor’s signature. This bill keeps money in the pockets of small business owners who know how to create jobs. It encourages businesses to stay here, expand here, move their operations here and create more jobs for our Minnesotans.

The Bill:

  • Permanently freezes the automatic inflator on the statewide levy for commercial/industrial properties. This means businesses will keep more of their money to invest in employees and growth, not job-killing-suck-you-dry taxes.
  • Emphasizes policies to encourage high-growth industries to encourage Minnesota businesses to be a magnet for the medical device and bio-technology industry.
  • Provides incentives to create a well-trained work force in Greater Minnesota not just the twin cities area.
  • Provides incentives to help our veteran men and women who did their job and fought for our country get jobs when they come back home.
  • Reforms targeted programs to make sure they are more helpful to our Minnesota-based businesses, especially in rural Minnesota.

Minnesota’s business property tax rate ranks among the highest in the United States. We need to make our state competitive to foster business development, expansion and job growth. Eliminating the property tax will allow businesses to put their money into growth and employees, not paying more taxes. From our local businesses and local government leaders, the statewide general property tax is one of the greatest obstacles to attracting businesses to our area. What does the bill do?

  • Freezes the current rate for statewide tax on business property permanently.
  • Permanently provides an up-front sales tax exemption on capital equipment purchases for all small businesses.
  • Permanently eliminates the accelerated sales tax remittance for 11 months of the year, allowing small businesses to keep more of their money to help with monthly cash flow.
  • Provides a property tax credit toward producers still under testing requirements for bovine tuberculosis.
  • Modifies the sales tax exemption for data centers to make it easier for small businesses to take advantage of this job creation opportunity.
  • Provides property tax relief to homeowners whose property taxes increased by more than 12%: 90% payable this year and 75% after that. There are no income restrictions but the increase must be at least $100 in one year.

In order for Minnesota to increase jobs, we need Minnesota to become a magnet for the high tech industry. We do that by investing in programs that will encourage the growth of the medical device and bio tech industries in our state which creates good paying jobs for our citizens.

Angel Investor Credit

  • Permanently increases Angel Investment Credit by $5 million for the duration of the program and enhances effort to push m ore investment to Greater Minnesota.
  • Prohibits businesses who receive the credit from selling or making a public offer within 6 months
  • Allows public employees or contracted personel contract information to be shared with the public

Research and Development

  • Increases the Research and Development tax credit by 24% for Minnesota companies to help make Minnesota a more attractive place to do business and enables companies to create high-paying jobs throughout the state.

Minnesota Investment Fund
Minnesota is #42 from the bottom on the Entrepreneur Index.

  • Increased funding to the Minnesota Investment Fund, which helps spur economic growth and job creation across Minnesota, by $2 million for FY13.

Greater Minnesota is in need of qualified and trained workers. Our jobs bill creates an internship grant program designed to attract and keep talent in the rural areas of our state. We also create a permanent tax credit to encourage employers to hire the men and women who have served our country.

  • Create Internship Grant Program that is aimed at attracting and keeping talent in Greater Minnesota. Administered through the Office of Higher Education, this program provides 40% grant up to $1250 per intern to employers (maximum of 5 interns per employers)
  • Veterans jobs tax credit aimed at making sure the men and women who serve our country are employed when they return.

Financially, these are modest changes, but have a very large return. In these times, employers have many choices and many places that are eager to have their jobs. Unless we are competitive with our surrounding states and world, our children will graduate and leave for jobs elsewhere. This bill lets them know we notice, we care and are taking the actions we can to help!

Thank you to all for your help in voicing your concerns about small businesses surviving and helped to put this package of tax relief and job promoting policies together.

As always, I welcome your calls at 651-296-0518 or your emails

Roger Crawford
421 State Office Building
100 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55155