I feel compelled to remind Minnesotans that many companies do not share the same regard for the state's business climate that was expressed by Roger Hale, the former CEO of Tennant Co. ("The governor's budget plan won't send businesses scurrying," June 8.)
We've seen news stories about more of the former Northwest Airlines' jobs being moved to Delta Air Lines' headquarters in Atlanta. We all should be concerned.
In addition, Honeywell, Burlington Northern and Norwest (now Wells Fargo) are recent examples of companies that have moved their international headquarters out of Minnesota.
Volkswagen is about to open a new plant in Tennessee. BMW makes cars in South Carolina, and Lexus has an assembly plant in Ontario. Toyota, Honda and Nissan have manufacturing and assembly plants in other parts of our country. This has been happening while Ford plans to close the one assembly plant we have in St. Paul.
Tax policy is not just about the impact on the business and job creation. We also need to ask what impact tax policy has on retaining people after they retire. It's very easy for Minnesotans who chose to winter in Florida, Arizona and Texas to change their residency to avoid paying taxes here.
I agree with Hale that we can't let our educational system, social safety net and infrastructure fail. We are all proud of the quality of life we enjoy.
However, asking a small number of wealthy taxpayers to be the solution to our budget problems will have negative unintended consequences. If we are not all willing to be part of the solution, maybe we need to stop the growth in our state budget.
STEVE L. ERICKSON, PEQUOT LAKES, MINN.