ST PAUL, MN – On Tax Day this year, paying less in taxes isn’t a priority for the Minnesota business owners who gathered at the State Capitol to express their concerns to legislators.
On the contrary, these small business owners want state lawmakers to know that a lower tax rate contradicts what they say they need in order grow their businesses and hire additional employees – government investment in critical public services such as statewide broadband, healthcare, and childcare funding.
“Child care funding is a huge issue for our businesses, our families, and our employees’ families,” said Jason Rathe, owner of Field Outdoor Spaces Landscaping and a member of the Main Street Alliance Minnesota. “We need more affordable, better-funded child care.”
Minnesota members of the Main Street Alliance, a national network of small business owners, gathered at the Capitol today to address these top priorities and to speak out against a local tax bill (HF 3889/ SF3668) that would put Minnesota’s tax code more in step with the federal overhaul passed late in 2017. The new federal tax law decimates the nation’s revenue by giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy. Big businesses, in particular, gained a huge windfall when Republicans slashed the top corporate tax rate from 36 percent to 21 percent. In Minnesota, lawmakers are considering cutting the corporate tax rate as well.
“The proposed tax cut (HF3889) would only benefit eight percent of Minnesota businesses, none of which are truly small businesses,’” said Davis Senseman, Founder of Davis Law Office and a member of the Main Street Alliance Minnesota.
“Minnesota’s small businesses – our local Main Street businesses – are the lifeblood of Minnesota’s community and economic vitality. They provide most of the jobs in our economy and they make up a good portion of our civic infrastructure, too, volunteering their time, talents, and goods to benefit their communities” said Jane Leonard, Executive Director of Growth and Justice. “All of us need to support and advocate for the necessities of business infrastructure today: robust, affordable, and stable broadband, child care, and health insurance. It’s the just and the smart thing to do. What benefits small business benefits all of us.”
Business owners also joined child care providers to call for an increase in funding for the state’s child care assistance program, C-CAP, which has a wait list of 5,400 Minnesota families. Child care providers say funding and reimbursement under C-CAP is inadequate.
“More than 30,000 Minnesota parents had to quit or drastically change their jobs in 2016 due to child care challenges,” said Jessica Anderson of the Children’s Defense Fund. “We need bold investment in programs like Child Care Assistance that can help improve families’ access to the child care that meets their needs. The benefits of a strong child care system will be felt by children, families, and child care providers, in addition to employers that rely on a productive workforce now and in the future.”
A recent report by the Main Street Alliance found that far from buoying small businesses and boosting customer demand, the total impacts of the new Republican tax law on small businesses’ bottom lines far outweigh the nominal tax cuts anticipate receiving.