State should be trying to free up businesses

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recently unveiled a budget proposal that, among other things, would hike a statewide property tax paid by businesses. This is a mistake, to say the least.

The tax was cut last session and signed into law by Dayton. He then wanted an immediate reworking of several tax breaks. The resulting standoff with state lawmakers sent the two sides into court, with Dayton cutting off funding for the Legislature. The two sides subsequently resolved the spat, but the underlying causes remain.

The statewide business property tax was and is unfair. We know that at some point in history it became politically acceptable, to some, to demonize business. But that doesn’t make it right. How can it possibly be OK to discriminate against and punish one sector of society?

The honest answer, which you won’t hear Dayton say publicly, is: that’s where the money is. Which tells you a lot about the greedy hand of government.

What do businesses do? They make products or offer services. They hire people. They are the engine of society, moving it forward. No one is forced to trade with any business they dislike, for whatever reason. Force is not involved in trade. Where do you find force? Government.

Ask yourself: What kind of person believes businesses are “bad” for making money? What kind of person believes businesses should “pay” for what they do? The petulance displayed by this type of thinking cannot even be called political philosophy. It is just nonsense, and beyond time for it to go away.

The state should be doing all it can, every day and in every way, to free up businesses from onerous taxes, rules and regulations. Period.