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.

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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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  • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

    Government greed knows no bounds.

  • zipity

    Well, who knew that Petro Serve was/is…..wait….for….it…..
    RACIST

    • two_amber_lamps

      “Petro Serve was/is…..wait….for….it…..RACIST/MISOGYNIST/HOMOPHOBIC

      Fixed that for ya!

  • awfulorv

    I wonder if this matter is inconsequential enough to attract the attention of Hippity Hop Holder. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him issue an injunction against the move. It just doesn’t look right, a company moving to a less taxing, right to work state. Then there’s that 3%, if that, African-American residents thing. Whassup with that?

  • yy4u2

    Progressives foolish? Get outta here!

    • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

      Well look at some of the Buffoons running the democratic party… :)

  • ec99

    More symbolic than anything else. It’ll take of move by MMM or UBS to fargo for Dayton to take notice.

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

    Don’t worry, North Dakota will soon take your money in high taxes too.

    • kevindf

      Only if you are not lucky enough to be on the state or municipal payroll.

  • Rob Port sucks

    In related news Target, United Healthcare, 3M, Best Buy, General Mills and many others are also…nope. Staying right where they are.

    • RCND

      No doubt in part because they received tremendous government incentives other businesses don’t for doing so

    • ShortAndBald

      Target isn’t moving its operations from Minnesota? With a Dayton as governor? You don’t say…

    • FELLER

      Obviously companies from the Twin Cities area aren’t going to up and relocate — especially super large operations like you mentioned. This is mainly a Moorhead vs. Fargo type battle.

      • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

        The big Minnesota companies are probably going to locate in South Dakota rather than North Dakota because of no state income tax (although there is a tax on financial institutions).

        In fact many have done just that prior to the Daytons tax hikes.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Corporate darwinism will make their choice for them… they can keep “donating” their profits to a welfare state or they can get smart and move somewhere that’s more advantageous.

    • Thresherman

      Oh wait, 3M decided to move jobs from New Ulm to Angleton TX. Why? Better business climate.

      http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/morning_roundup/2011/04/3m-will-move-jobs-from-new-ulm-to-texas.html

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