Minnesota Company Moving To North Dakota Because Of Taxes

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Remember that dust-up between Minnesota officials in Moorhead and the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce over a billboard inviting businesses in the eastern state to take advantage of the lower taxes in the western state? Our Minnesota neighbors threw a hissy fit about it, and the billboard earned some scorn from the orthodox liberals in the North Dakota media, but it appears to be working.

Here’s the story of at least one large Moorhead business jumping across the boarder to enjoy lower taxes:

Petro Serve USA plans to move its corporate office from the current location on Center Avenue in Moorhead to property on West Main Avenue in West Fargo – the home of the long-closed Smokey’s restaurant.

Tax advantages were one of the biggest factors in the move, said Kent Satrang, the CEO of the cooperative that supplies fuels and operates convenience stores throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.

“There are certainly tax advantages for the convenience store industry in North Dakota. It’s much more favorable,” Satrang said.

Satrang notes that Minnesota’s tobacco tax hike is one reason for the move, and I wrote about how great that tax hike has been for North Dakota yesterday, but that’s not the only tax cut luring new businesses in. Thanks to personal income tax cuts passed by the state legislature earlier this year, a family living in Moorhead making $60,000 per year will pay $3,626 per year in personal income tax versus only $756 in North Dakota under the new tax rates.

Corporate taxes were also cut 12%, which has prompted much whining from North Dakota Democrats. “Let’s also remember that our GOP friends who claim to be so ‘business-friendly’ are the members of the same party that sent 82 percent of corporate tax cuts out of state when we have countless local businesses right here in North Dakota that would greatly benefit from such cuts,” party Chairman Bob Valeu wrote in a letter to the editor back in July.

That’s a woefully ignorant statement – taxes were lowered for every corporation paying the tax – and it looks especially foolish now with the lower taxes luring new business into the state.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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