Gas tax and warehouse tax

To the editor:

I recently read a few articles in The Journal with interest.

First, I was pleased to read that Rep. Paul Torkelson supports raising the gas tax as part of a solution to reinvest in our aging and unsafe transportation infrastructure. It is refreshing to hear a Republican stand against his party’s “no tax ” stance in order to meet the common needs of Minnesotans. To pass such a proposal – and one that will actually solve the problem – will require bipartisan support and the support of organizations like the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

Second, I read your editorial on the warehouse tax. There is a reasonable discussion to be had on that tax. This year, in contrast to the past decade, the DFL delivered on its promise to budget honestly. Eliminating the sales tax break for warehousing allowed the state to pay for two good things: (1) elimination of the sales tax that cities and counties pay to the state (while raising property taxes to do so), and (2) elimination of the sales tax on investments businesses make on production equipment – a law change Minnesota businesses have wanted for years because it will promote more manufacturing and other investment. The real question is what’s better for middle class Minnesotans: giving warehousing businesses a tax break or cutting middle class property taxes and giving all businesses incentives to invest in manufacturing equipment.

More important, I agree with the editorial on one point. If the warehouse tax that the Minnesota Senate demanded is eliminated, we will pay for the repeal with cuts and not another new tax.

I appreciate your paper’s deep engagement on the future of our state.

Rep. Paul Thissen

Speaker of the

Minnesota House

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