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Just Say No: Increase in Gas Tax Would Fuel More Congestion, Reward Bad Policy

The Center joined a national coalition of policy organizations in the letter below which will be sent to Congress next week. Given the terrible congestion in the metro area, and the pot holes in our roads, some might argue that raising the gas tax is a good idea. The problem is the policies that gave us terrible congestion would not change with more gas tax money; more gas tax money would just “fuel” those bad policies. ...

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SKOL: Snow Days are Fun, Living in “The North”

Snappy ad campaigns like “the North,” designed to get Minnesotans to embrace our inner Nordic and attract people from other states, no matter how successful, are no match for the bad policies that have contributed to the state’s loss of population and wealth. The competition for talent and wealth is fierce. Maybe Eric Dayton, who seems like a great business guy, can talk to his parents. SKOL! ...

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Another Obama Era Obstacle to MN Mining Bites the Dust

The federal government took another step this week to roll back the Obama administration's last-ditch effort to sabotage responsible mineral development on the Iron Range for decades. The Forest Service announced it will require an environmental review of the potential impact of copper mining in the BWCA, rather than an environmental impact statement. There's a big difference, reports the Duluth Tribune. The results of the environmental review are intended to help federal officials decide if about 234,000 acres near the wilderness would be off-limits to all mining activity for 20 years. If the decision is no, mining exploration activities could resume...

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3M Joins Long List of Companies Benefiting From Tax Reform

"3M, in the groove as global economy thrives, raises outlook on tax-law gains." The accelerating global economy lifted 3M Co.'s sales and profits past expectations, and executives on Thursday raised their outlook for 2018, in part because of future savings that are expected from the new federal tax law. *** 3M said its tax rate under the new "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" will fall to 20 percent to 22 percent in 2018, down from a prior rate of 26 percent to 27 percent. Executives said they will use the savings to boost returns for shareholders, increase pension reserves and to invest in...

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Met Council: If it is such a great regional model, why is it the only one after 50 years?

Mondale has thrown down the legislative gauntlet, again. While annoying and not correct that the Council is acting under actual authority, he is correct that the legislature created the creature that is the Council and the legislature must take it out, breaking it up into its constituent parts and spinning them off where they can do more good and no harm. Will the 2018 Legislature take him up the dare? ...

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Thousands of Minnesotans Get Bonuses and Pay Hikes Thanks to Tax Cuts [UPDATED]

UPDATE (1/25/18): The list of Minnesota companies sharing the financial benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with their employees and communities just got longer with the addition of four more firms, big and small.  St. Paul-based Ecolab will cut a $25 million check to its charitable foundation, while also predicting strong growth in 2018 and beyond. In response to the passage of the new U.S. tax law, Ecolab announced its intent to make a $25 million contribution to the Ecolab Foundation. Since 1986, the Ecolab Foundation has contributed more than $100 million to communities in which we do business by providing basic needs, including hunger...

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Why Did Amazon “Snub” the Twin Cities?

We wrote about Amazon's plans for a massive second corporate headquarters, and the Twin Cities' bid to be considered for its location, here, here, here and here. The last linked post, dated last Thursday, followed Amazon's announcement of the 20 finalists for the project. The Twin Cities didn't make the cut. The finalists were Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, Md., Nashville, Newark, New York City, northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto, and Washington, DC. Now Star Tribune business columnist Lee Schafer has weighed in: "Why would Amazon snub the Twin Cities in headquarters...

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