Minnesota business owners are asking Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders to repeal more than $300 million in new business taxes in the upcoming special legislative session.

The United for Jobs Coalition, spearheaded by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, wants leaders to wipe out new taxes on business equipment repair, purchases of telecommunication equipment and commercial warehousing services.

The group presented the governor and legislative leaders with a petition with signatures from more than 350 businesses and associations.

“The repeal should also occur for the thousands of other businesses negatively impacted by these new fixed costs,” said David Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “Companies are making next year’s business plans right now. They cannot make decisions based on a promise that some of the leaders will push for a repeal of these taxes in the 2014 Legislature.”

The business repair and telecommunications equipment taxes went into effect July 1. The warehousing tax doesn’t kick in until next April.

Dayton has said he doesn’t like any of these taxes, which were part of a much larger budget package he and DFL legislative leaders negotiated earlier this year.

The governor said he wants to repeal the tax on agricultural equipment repair during the upcoming special legislative session. But he prefers to wait to repeal the warehousing tax during the regular legislative session, when budget officials have a better sense of whether the state has additional revenue needed to repeal the $90 million warehousing tax. Dayton said lawmakers will still have time to repeal the tax before it kicks in.

Olson said the delay sends an unsettling message to businesses.

“We have already heard from many businesses that are contemplating whether it’s in their best interests to stay and/or expand in Minnesota,” Olson said. “We should repeal these taxes before they do more damage to the development and growth of our economy.”

Dayton is meeting with legislative leaders Friday afternoon to set an agenda for the special session, which could come Sept. 9.

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