FFM Bulletin 1/27/12

Report: Minnesota ranks in the bottom 10 in state business tax climate

Minnesota has the 6th worst state business tax climate in the nation according to a new comprehensive report released today from the non-partisan Tax Foundation.  The North Star State is ranked 45th in the new, national report, “2012 State Business Tax Climate Index.”

The report ranks each state based on several metrics related to business taxes, including corporate tax, individual income tax, sales tax, property tax, and unemployment insurance tax. The state maintained its bottom ten rank from last year when it also earned 45th place.

"Even in our global economy, a state's stiffest and most direct competition often comes from other states," said Tax Foundation economist Mark Robyn. "State lawmakers need to be aware of how their states' business climates match up to their immediate neighbors and to other states in their region."

To read more about how Minnesota stacks up against the rest of the nation and to read the entire report, visit Minnesota State News.

Is the City of Farmington getting out of the liquor business?

In just one month, the City of Farmington has gone from looking at a potential new building for its municipal liquor store to wondering if it should be in the liquor business at all.

Council member Julie May, who supports private businesses entering into the monopolized municipal liquor market, said allowing private liquor stores would “create a welcoming environment for businesses.” Right now, however, the city will likely renew the municipal liquor store’s lease and discuss with other cities ways to make the store more profitable, according to an article in the Star Tribune.

Over the summer, we reported on Lakeville’s decision to study whether or not that Dakota County city should get out of the liquor business. Though Lakeville’s liquor operation is the most profitable in the state, city leaders saw it as an opportunity to create a business friendly environment. Said Mayor Mark Bellows: "We want to be a pro-business community. Municipal liquor, by state statute, doesn't allow competing business.”

As we’ve said before, it sounds like Farmington and Lakeville may be on the right track, and we remain hopeful that city residents will soon have some welcomed competition to this long-standing public monopoly.

How to close the achievement gap? Greater school choice

Daniel Webber, law clerk for the Institute for Justice Minnesota Chapter, penned a timely, excellent and informative commentary on MPR on school choice to commemorate National School Choice Week.

From the article:

  • Minneapolis has more students of color than the average district, and the sad fact is that white students outperform students of color statewide. Results from the National Assessment of Education Progress, a test of reading and math periodically given to fourth- and eighth-grade students, have consistently found statistically significant differences in performance between white Minnesotans and all others. Indeed, Minnesota's achievement gap is one of the largest in the nation.

    This gap has rightly prompted much debate in the educational establishment, but the debate has yet to yield results. Infusions of money and frequent changes of leadership have failed to solve the problem.

Read the entire commentary piece here, and visit schoolchoiceweek.com to learn more about the movement.

College/Grad students: Still time to apply for the Koch Summer Fellow Program. Deadline: Jan. 31

The deadline for applying for a Summer Fellowship with the Charles G. Koch Foundation is less than a week away.

The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota has teamed with this excellent program for the past three years and has been honored to host research fellows at our Minneapolis headquarters. The 10-week program is a paid public policy internship running from June 2- August 10 and is open to undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students. Participants attend weeklong career and policy seminars in Washington DC, as well as weekly teleconference lectures on important public policy matters. The Koch Summer Fellow Program is ideal for those students looking to gain real-world experience while advancing liberty.

For more information, visit http://www.theihs.org/koch-summer-fellow-program.

Quote of the week

This week’s “Quote of the week” comes from Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels during his response to the President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. Said Daniels:

“Government is meant to serve the people rather than supervise them.”

This simple, but effective message aptly sums up our conservative beliefs that this state and nation need responsible and limited government that fosters free markets, individual liberty, and personal responsibility.


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