Archived Story

Tax Increases affect businesses [UPDATED]

Published 3:57am Monday, May 20, 2013 Updated 6:02am Monday, May 20, 2013

The Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce is troubled by the looming tax increases pending in the State Legislature.

All details have not yet fully emerged, but there could be a $2 billion tax increase to fix a $627 million budget shortfall.

Proposed dramatic tax increases include bumping the cigarette tax, adding sales tax to some business services and raising income taxes.

The proposed income tax hike will make Minnesota’s top bracket the 4th highest in the country. Legislators have included the income tax increase with the idea of targeting the top 2 percent of Minnesota’s income earners, but keep in mind —small businesses that file taxes as individuals in this category will also be affected.

Our small businesses provide hundreds of jobs in the Fergus Falls area and have been unfairly lumped into the “tax the rich” solution. When faced with paying the fourth highest income taxes in the country, what do you think our small business owners will be forced to do to balance their budgets? Will they cut expenses, employees, benefits, hours or philanthropy? Will they consider moving to another state with lower taxes?

This proposed income tax hike is aimed at making the “rich folks” pay their “fair share” however in reality it will hurt citizens at every income level.

Our small businesses are an integral part of our economy and community. As our businesses grow, our community grows and vice versa. When given the freedom to invest their revenue (rather than paying higher taxes), our small businesses do things like expand, hire new employees, and purchase goods and services from other small businesses. This benefits our entire community and beyond. All of these things result in economic stimulation and are a boon to our local and state economy.

The proposed tax increases will limit small business growth and competitiveness in Minnesota and Fergus Falls is too close to bordering states to not be concerned. North Dakota has already jumped on this opportunity by posting “Open For Business” billboards on Minnesota highways nearby.

Legislators should examine the budget and look for ways to make it more efficient before they implement tax policies that make our small-businesses collateral damage.

It is possible to erase the shortfall without raising taxes — reports are calling for an $856 million surplus for 2016-17 if we just leave things as-is.

We encourage the governor and majority leaders to acknowledge this progress as they put the finishing touches on plans regarding our budget and taxes. The last thing we should want to do is set back our resurgence from the Great Recession and our concern is that these policies would do just that.

Taxation and spending do not lead to prosperity; responsible spending and business growth is the right path for Fergus Falls and Minnesota.


Lisa Workman

Executive Director

Fergus Falls Area

Chamber of Commerce


  • camobabe

    SShhh!! If you keep on revealing facts like this you will soon be audited by the Dayton tax people and the IRS.

    No objection to whatever Big Brother wants to do, we must obey Big Brother.

    • Richard Olson

      My my, how things have changed. Just a few short months ago Ms. Workman was 100% behind raising local taxes to pay for the ice palace. I guess she was riding a different ox then.

      And in other news…alias Camilla thinks she has discovered yet another conspiracy to keep her awake and quaking through the night when the rest of us are sleeping.

    • Phaedrus

      With regards to the IRS, Camo-Toe, I believe the “accepted wisdom ‘round these parts” during the debate over some of the abuses involved in the renewal of the “Patriot Act” was, “If you’re not doing anything wrong, then what difference does it make?” Either the same is true here or we’ve found ourselves a hypocrite.

      If a bunch of “Nonprofit 501(c)4 Social Welfare Organizations” were targeted for an audit, I say, “So what?” Should it have been so one-sided in its focus? NO, of course not. But what are we talking about here? Should these groups have to ACTUALLY PROVE that they are what they’re claiming to be? Whose welfare (other than those administering the organization) have they actually improved? Less regulation doesn’t mean less corruption, it just means “no deterrence” (I no longer have to think twice about dumping toxic chemicals into the Ottertail River). If they said they could audit every “Nonprofit 501(c)4 Social Welfare Organizations” but it would cost everyone an extra $50 in taxes, I’d vote for it.

      It would take me 10 minutes to compress and zip a file with all my records, receipts, etc. That gets us back to, “If you haven’t done anything wrong, then an audit is nothing to fear”. Of course, I haven’t “stretched” any definitions; I haven’t claimed anything that I can’t prove, etc. The thought of being audited doesn’t cause me to lose any sleep. These groups “Nonprofit 501(c)4 Social Welfare Organizations” are claiming special privileges (to hide the sources of their “income” – like not saying “who you’re suppliers are” [because then you’d be a snitch]), and I think they should ALL be audited every year.

  • Walt Henry

    Doesn’t anyone but me wonder what parents of small children will do with their extra money now that they will have one less year of daycare? Or what homeowners and renters will do with the extra money they will have because property taxes will go down? Or what school districts will do with the money they no longer have to borrow on the state’s behalf? Or the jobs that will be created in Rochester on the Mayo project that makes our state a travel destination? I sure hope some of it gets spent in business that have a Chamber spokesperson who writes letters of impending doom to editors of local newspapers. Negativity might be as bad for business as uncertainty.

    • camobabe

      There is little uncertainty that you and your fellow socialists want to tax us out of our socks, Larry/Walt.
      And, oh my, you don’t sneak around and work in the dark shadows like your fellow socialists in the IRS, do you? You just come right out and threaten anyone who tries to stop the tax and spend steamroller. A perfect example of what I said , no objection to Big Brother, and here comes Larry , 0bama/Dayton lapdog, showing his fangs to an objector.

      And, Curly Richard, seems I recollect that you also objected to the taxes for the ice palace, but now you object to Ms. Workman when she does as you did? Looks like there is nothing constant in you but change.

      • Walt Henry

        When I was newly out of my teens I learned not to call a police officer a “pig”. Only bad things happened after that. If applying for a tax exemption I think it unwise to advocate for the extermination of taxes, government and the IRS. With so many distortions and outright lies created and communicated by members of the radicalized right I doubt their attempts at “education” are little more than propaganda. Should liars, cheats and self-described anarchists be able to avoid taxes? Even so, I wish George W. had appointed a better choice for director of the IRS. Asking for names of donors when it is not required for the tax exemption sought in this case (the names of donors is required if the purpose of the fund is political) bothers me but not as much as the tax code allows for all sorts of unnecessary deductions which are self-serving and do nothing to promote the common good.

        • camobabe

          Quoth Larry/Walt, ” Should liars, cheats, and self-described anarchists be able to avoid taxes?” Well it seems OK for you and your fellow anarchistic radicals to do so. During the 27 month period your socialist IRS was denying and abusing conservative and Christian organizations,and vets group opposed to out of control taxing and spending, that same socialist controlled IRS was pushing through, with little examination, and great haste more than 600 radical leftist, abortion mongering, homosexual marriage, and other leftist groups’ requests for tax exempt status the IRS was delaying and denying to the pro American groups you seem to have labeled with the pejoratives quoted above. So, more of your hypocrisy, namely, opponents of the socialist 0bama have no rights, supporters of the socialist 0bama have all rights, including some they haven’t even imagined yet.

          • Richard Olson

            Alias Camilla you are so full of it the “Fertilizer Institute” has declared you a national treasure and you need to file an environmental impact statement to brush your teeth.

            First of all we have a bunch of reactionary malcontents who have been threatening violent insurrection for the past four years. They show at gang meetings with signs that say “We came unarmed this time” and some have arrived at outdoor Presidential speeches with loaded sidearm’s.
            They have stirred for secession and civil war. Preached that government is tyranny and confiscates their money and takes their guns and forbids freedom to worship.

            Then, in stunned amazement they stand mouths agape wondering why the IRS might want give these kooks and freaks some extra scrutiny when they file for tax exempt status because they pretend to be a “SOCIAL” organization. And like alias Camilla they just can’t understand why a gang of armed reactionaries isn’t treated exactly like the “North Ottertail War Widows Quilters Society” or the Bluebirds, Brownies and Girl Scouts. Get real Camilla!

          • Walt Henry

            Camilla, I haven’t been claiming all of the tax deductions I could for years. I believe my taxes are too low for the value I receive. I live in one of the greatest and most secure nations in the world and I am required to pay too little for the privilege. Camilla, in other words I over pay my taxes. And you know what? I’m not the only one.
            BTW–be honest now–Who appointed the IRS commissioner under who’s watch this happened? Someone from the party that hates facts, math and an accurate understanding of history.

      • Richard Olson

        Here is the difference alias Camilla. Ms Workman was for a tax increase for a luxury, a want rather than a need, an unnecessary ice place but now objects to taxes for necessary infrastructure projects and upgrades.

        I objected to ice palace taxes because they were/are unnecessary I do not object to taxes necessary to maintain the infrastructure of our state. Nearly everyone needs/uses roads and bridges. Very few people use or benefit from an upgraded second ice arena.

        So the “constant” in me is personal and civic responsibility and the ability to notice the difference between a luxury for a few people and a necessary need for many.

Editor's Picks

Landfill fee to start for non-FF residents

Non-Fergus Falls residents looking to get rid of tree waste at the Fergus Falls landfill will have to pay for it on an interim basis ... Read more

State’s first handicapped canoe dock in FF park

Through the cooperative efforts of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Department and the City of Fergus Falls, Veterans Park has a new ADA Canoe/Kayak ... Read more

Attempted robbery report was false [UPDATED]

The report of two men trying to rob a 15-year-old boy Sunday night in an alley on Lincoln Avenue was not true, according to Fergus ... Read more