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MnRA on the Front Line of Tax Talk at the Capitol

Legislature Hits the Ground Running on E-Fairness and Clothing Tax

Minnesota Senator Ann Rest held hearings in her Tax Reform Subcommittee this week on a variety of tax-related bills she introduced, including a MnRA-supported measure to address E-Fairness, and a MnRA-opposed clothing sales tax exemption repeal. Sen. Rest also introduced a digital goods tax bill.

E-Fairness

MnRA's Rochelle Westlund lead the Mainstreet Fairness Coalition in testifying in support of Rest's E-Fairness bill, S.F. 8.  A special thank you to MnRA Board member Roberta Bonoff, owner of Creative Kidstuff, and Michael Weinhagen, owner of Weinhagen Tire Company, for sharing their stories with the Subcommittee to illustrate how this bill would help level the playing field for retailers.
 
Other organizations testifying in support of E-Fairness were the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Counties, the Metro Independent Business Alliance, the Minnesota Business Partnership, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
 
With widespread bipartisan support, in addition to support from the Governor's office, we are hopeful that E-Fairness will have a path to passage.

Click here to see summary of E-Fairness testimony from KARE-11.
Click here to watch an archive of the full hearing. 

Clothing Sales Tax 

Relative to the measures to expand sales tax to clothing (S.F. 9/S.F. 11), MnRA along with the Mall of America testified in opposition to these bills due to the potential impact they could have on retailers.
 
In today's turbulent economy, extending Minnesota sales tax to clothing would take disposable income out of the hands of consumers. The resulting reduction in spending would impact businesses bottom line, and hinder retailers' ability to maintain and create jobs. With one in four Minnesota jobs depending on retail, it is important Minnesota makes public policy that encourages growth.
 
We look forward to leading these conversations as tax reform is further considered at the State Capitol  If you have any questions please contact MnRA's Government Relations Director, Rochelle Westlund, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Is Retail on Legislators' Agenda?

Minnesota Legislature convenes this week

Minnesota's Legislature convenes at noon this Tuesday with many new faces and several veterans returning to the Capitol to do the work of the people of Minnesota. With the DFL leading the Minnesota Senate and House, as well as holding the Governor's office, retailers across Minnesota will be intently assessing the focus and progress of this year's Legislature.

At the top of the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) agenda again this year is mainstreet sales tax collection fairness, or E-Fairness. Given the discussions Governor Mark Dayton and legislative leaders have had surrounding comprehensive tax reform, E-Fairness and many other tax policies are likely to be given serious consideration this year.

MnRA's agenda extends beyond E-Fairness and includes concerns about potential taxes on food, clothing, and retail services, in addition to increased excise taxes. MnRA plans to engage the Legislature in conversations about what Minnesota's future tax systems looks like and how it impacts Minnesota's retail community.

In addition to E-Fairness and taxes, MnRA has several other items on its agenda for this legislative session, including advocating for changes in convenience gas payment mandates, pharmacy law updates, and organized retail crime penalty enhancements. MnRA has also identified extended producer responsibility, competitive interchange fees, and Minnesota's healthcare exchange as areas where the association will aggressively represent our retail members.

With one in four Minnesota jobs directly dependent on the vibrancy of the retail industry, we hope retail is strongly on legislators' agenda this year.

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