A week after seizing power, Senate Republicans unveiled their first legislative proposal Monday – a modest mix of corporate tax breaks and regulatory reform.
Republicans proposed cutting the state’s corporate income tax in half, rolling back business property taxes to 2009 levels and speeding up review of permits.
Senate Republicans jammed the news conference for the ceremonial rollout of a bill they hope will kick-start Minnesota’s business climate and stimulate private sector job growth.
“This bill provides a warm welcome to those looking to start a business or expand their current operations,” state Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, who authored the bill and chairs the Senate’s Jobs and Economic Growth Committee. “The solution to persistent unemployment and budget deficits is private sector job growth.”
Democrats said tax cuts haven’t proven to be a successful tool to stimulate the economy and questioned Republicans' desire to add to the $6.2 billion deficit.
“It seems like the Republicans are in some denial about the state’s financial situation,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook. “When are we going to get serious that the state has a serious, structural financial problem. I don’t get it.”
Those advocating for the legislation said the proposal would add $200 million to the state deficit and they wouldn’t speculate on how many jobs might be created of saved.
“I can’t commit to a job number at this time,” Michel said.
The proposal is expected to get its first of many committee hearings next week.