Readers Write (March 28): Minnesota's tax climate, Southwest LRT, oil pipelines, crowded elections

  • Updated: March 27, 2014 - 6:29 PM

A comparison of Minnesota’s placement among the states must be comprehensive.

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TAX CLIMATE

An individual burden maybe, but not overall

A March 27 letter writer reiterated the same conservative argument we’ve been hearing for decades, even centuries — that is, higher taxes, even a percent or two, will drive business from the state and cause new ones to locate elsewhere. While this might be true for the letter writer, speaking for himself, it is completely discredited on a macroeconomic scale by a simple state-by-state comparison of several economic and social metrics.

Virtually all of the states with lower state and local taxes are in the South, which has never been an economic engine, and in the Rust Belt, which was dealt a kick in the teeth by globalization and which, partly because of lower taxes, has not been able to recover. By 2018, Minnesota is projected to create three times the number of jobs that Southern states will create. Moreover, 70 percent of those jobs will require postsecondary education, indicating that Minnesota’s workforce is better educated now and will continue to outpace states with lower taxes. And our medically uninsured population is the fifth-lowest, indicating the healthier workforce sought after by businesses.

And there are many more. If the letter writer is upset, he should feel free to move to Mississippi — and good luck to him.

Steven Richard Boyer, St. Paul

 

SOUTHWEST LRT

Wrong thing, wrong place, wrong time

If we do not have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will we have the time and money to do it over?

The lure of “free federal money” (borrowed from Beijing, of course) seems to endlessly lure local leaders into doing stupid things.

Every light-rail line should be routed to maximize patronage. Ergo, put it where the people are. In this case, that would be — big time — in Uptown. Meanwhile, the population density along the east shore of Cedar Lake is … ah … light.

We in Bryn Mawr have quite good bus service running at grade through the center of our neighborhood (and occasionally along the north edge). A light-rail station way below grade, on the southeast fringe of our neighborhood, is likely to be lightly patronized.

Same song, second verse, for a Van White Station, in an industrial zone (though, to be fair, Dunwoody might benefit from that one).

Put the Southwest line in “the trench,” run it east to Nicollet, hang a left, and keep running the length of the renovated mall. Yes, that does assume eminent domain exercised over Kmart — the sooner, the better.

Uptown: Now there lies a concentration of people generally, and of 20-somethings specifically — who, polls repeatedly report, enthusiastically embrace transit.

Please give up already on the idiocy of shoehorning this line into a corridor that offers few passengers and maximum negative impact on the city’s lakes and parks.

Darryl G. Carter, Minneapolis

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