PRIORITIZING SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE MINNESOTA HOUSE
In an effort to find ways to improve Minnesota’s small business community, Minnesota House leaders formed a Small Business Caucus, made up of a bipartisan group of representatives from across the state. As one of those appointed to serve, I’m pleased to announce our legislative agenda for this session.
Many of our small business owners have asked us simply to remove some of the barriers that prevent them from being more efficient. To address this, we are proposing several bills that will hopefully make things easier for them, including providing relocation cost relief for business affected by eminent domain; requiring the Department of Employment and Economic Development to provide a permitting and regulatory ombudsman to assist startups and small businesses; and allowing them under certain conditions, to voluntarily request advisory inspections and remediate violations before penalties are imposed.
Over taxation is another common complaint from the small business community. In response, we are offering legislation that would reduce property taxes on small businesses by exempting the first $150,000 of value from the state property tax; repealing the accelerated pre-payment of state sales taxes for small businesses; and allowing an upfront sales tax exemption for capital equipment purchases rather than the current requirement to submit paperwork for reimbursement
Finally, we often hear about the need for investment. Some of the proposals in this area include expanding and enhancing the Angel Investment Tax Credit program; assisting small businesses with health insurance costs by continuing to support Section 125 group plans, continuing rewards for those paying 50% of the premium cost, and removing an unworkable mandate; and equalizing the small business penalty interest rate with the personal penalty interest rate.
Republicans and Democrats realize that small businesses and startups are a driver of our economy and a foundation of our communities. Our goal is to listen to them and take common-sense actions at the Legislature to help our small businesses not only recover financially today but prosper into the future.