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Clothing sales-tax idea getting another spin

A sales tax on clothing, as opposed to further discouraging our millionaires, seems like a good idea, untilMark Zdechlik of MPR says: “As Minnesota lawmakers once again find themselves facing a projected budget shortfall, some of the first bills they are looking at would extend the state sales tax to clothing. Supporters say that taxing clothes could help stabilize sales tax revenue and could bring in enough money to offset lowering the overall sales tax rate. Critics worry that retailers would lose a competitive advantage if Minnesota joins the vast majority of other states that tax apparel sales. All but seven of the 50 states tax clothing sales … . Regardless of how it might be done, many retailers oppose a tax on clothing. The people who run the Mall of America say that apparel accounts for more than half of the sales at the mall and that shoppers cite tax-free clothes as one of the top three reasons they go there.”

It’s a Salvation Army store … with new stuff. John Ewoldt of the Strib explains: “About 50 people waited in near zero temps Saturday for the Salvation Army's new concept store in Fridley to open. The all new goods store is similar to the basement store at 900 N. 4th St. in Minneapolis, which features overstocks, shelf pulls and returns from retailers such as Costco, Target, Sam's Club, Fingerhut and other discounters, all at 40 to 60 percent off. Best sellers on the first day were household items, cleaning supplies (170 oz. of liquid Tide for $14), paper products (30 rolls of Costco's Kirkland Signature TP for $10), household items (bath rugs for $4 to $14), and clothes (men's polo shirts for $6), said store manager Josh Hagberg. … The new store called ‘Amazing Deals’ is in the same location as the former Brand Name Deals store at 1000 E. Moore Lake Dr. (Fridley, 763-571-9988).”

“Evidence of the validity” seems a reasonable standard … . The AP says: “Minnesota's attorney general is seeking legislation that would force companies that buy bad debts to prove in court that they're using reliable information when they target debtors for repayment. Attorney General Lori Swanson announced her proposal Monday. She's backed by the chairs of the House and Senate judiciary committees. Swanson says companies that buy old, unpaid debts for pennies on the dollar often obtain default court judgments against the debtors using incorrect or incomplete information. … The bill would force all debt buyers to establish evidence of the validity and amount of the debt, that the correct debtor is being targeted and that they properly own the debt in question.”

Two years as a POW in Nazi Germany doesn’t qualify you for a Purple Heart? The St. Cloud Times’ Ben Katzner writes: “As family, friends and well-wishers circled around him to offer congratulations, Lawrence Huschle couldn't help but be taken aback. That’s because at the St. Cloud armory Sunday, Huschle’s longtime goal of being officially awarded the U.S. military’s Purple Heart honor came to fruition after almost 70 years of waiting. ‘It’s overwhelming, I never expected this,’ Huschle said. ‘I never thought (it would happen)’. Huschle is a World War II veteran who served as a gunner on a B-17 bomber that was shot down over Germany in 1943. He was one of a handful of people to survive the crash and was held as a prisoner of war for almost two years. … Initially, there wasn’t a way to verify that Huschle’s plane was shot or that he got treated for injuries suffered in battle by the U.S. government, so the Purple Heart was placed on the back burner.”

The GleanThey were expecting this one … Says James Walsh in the Strib: “The warning letter that St. Jude Medical has been expecting from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding the facility where the company makes its Durata defibrillator leads has arrived. St. Jude on Monday confirmed that it received the communication from the FDA Friday. According to a document St. Jude filed Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the FDA ‘notes that it will not grant requests for exportation certificates to foreign governments or approve pre-market approval applications for Class III devices to which the quality system regulation deviations are reasonably related until the violations have been corrected.’ St. Jude said the warning letter does not raise concerns regarding Durata or Riata ST leads — or any other St. Jude Medical products.”

And good luck buying into the farming game at these prices … Mark Steil of MPR reports: “High land prices are making it difficult for young farmers. In one of the most volatile and expensive land markets in history, they generally don't have the financial resources to compete with established producers or investors. For those seeking a start, just renting a few acres is daunting. But they keep trying. … University of Minnesota data show that between 2006 and the first nine months of 2011, average farmland prices statewide increased 38 percent, from $2,560 an acre to $3,533 an acre. The increase was even sharper for the richest soils, with prices doubling in Cottonwood County in southwest Minnesota. Indeed, prices have increased so rapidly they may be holding down the number of sales. While there were about 2,600 farmland sales in Minnesota in 2008, by 2011, the number of transactions dropped to less than 1,500.”

Big help for genealogists of all types … Christopher Snowbeck of the PiPress says: “Minnesota is making plans to digitize roughly 5 million pages worth of old adoption records, including some that date to the late 19th century. The records are stored on about 2,000 rolls of microfilm housed at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In December, the department put the job of digitizing the records out for bid, saying it shouldn't cost more than $67,500. ‘Anecdotally, we are aware there are some adoption records from the 1890s through today,’ wrote Beth Voigt, a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, in an email. ‘Each roll of microfilm may contain 200 case records or more.’ While there are about 5 million pages worth of old adoption records, each record varies in size from a few pages to several hundred pages. So, the microfilm rolls likely have information on thousands of adoptions, although state officials didn't put an exact number on the tally.”

Things that drive you crazy … Chuck Rupnow of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram says: “The cost of a projected three-week murder trial scheduled to begin in April likely will exceed $200,000 and a large jury pool will likely be required. Aaron Schaffhausen, 35, of Minot, N.D., is charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the July 10 murders of his three daughters at their mother's home in River Falls. … Several television stations have agreed to help cover the anticipated $3,000 to $5,000 cost of wiring the Hudson courthouse's lower-level community room to accommodate overflow media and spectators expected for the high-profile trial.” So put it on pay-per-view and cover the whole thing.

At City Pages, Aaron Rupar notes a city map of the worst spots for bicycle-car collisions. “The map, which was prepared by the city's Public Works Department and represents all 2,973 reported bike-on-car crashes from 2000 through 2010, shows that most crashes happened in South Minneapolis. Especially troublesome areas in that part of town include Lyndale, Portland, and Franklin Aves.”

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Comments (2)

Those who were adopted

will never have access to the records about to be digitized. It's time to open their records during their lifetimes.

DFL Clothing Tax!

Why do DFL'ers have this penchant to tax clothes. Citing stats like 43 states do it "why can't we" is bogus. Did it ever occur to these idiots that poor people can afford just a slightly warmer sock on their foot while they wait at the bus stop on days like today? How about the fact that working stiffs like my self can afford a slightly more durable T-shirt with a pocket because of no tax. Or that my $89 pair of Rockies are not $95. Which means when I see my teen age child, I can buy both of us a Soda instead of just her. Did it ever occur that 7 other states are not failures, but they actually care about poor people? That 43 states are so beholden to their spending that they tax poor peoples underware??? Did it ever occur to MINNPOST editors to instruct their staff " no story on this, unless you name names". We want those DFL'ers to get their names attached to this tax.