Today was the start of the 2014 Legislative Session. This afternoon, I spoke before the House Taxes Committee about my bill – House File 1968 – that would repeal the storage and warehousing sales tax. Senator Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville) is the Senate author of the bill.
During the committee hearing, we heard testimony from a warehouse business owner in Eagan who was forced to lay off 18% of her workforce because of the warehousing tax. While the tax isn’t set to go into effect until April 1, many job providers have begun moving their operations outside of Minnesota in anticipation of the tax being implemented. While I’m cautiously optimistic we will be able to repeal this tax, much of the damage is already done. It could be difficult to recoup the job losses even if the tax is repealed.
One testifier speaking on the warehousing tax, Steve Yockey of Distribution Alternative, was asked by a committee member why his business was still in Minnesota. His response was “The only reason we are here is because we started the business in St. Paul decades ago. Otherwise we would pack up and go to Kentucky.”
While some House Democrats have blamed the Senate for inserting the job-killing business-to-business taxes into the 2013 Omnibus Tax Bill, the Democrat-majorities in both chambers voted to pass this legislation nonetheless. It’s imperative for our community and for our state to repeal all of three of the business-to-business taxes. As co-chair of the Small Business Caucus, it’s the number one priority of our bipartisan 26-member group.
You can contact me by e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-5063. You can also write a letter to me. My office address at the Capitol is 229 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.