Dayton vetoes GOP’s (other) business tax cut bill, too

Apparently, out of gratitude for so many DFLers and DFL-friendly trade unions pushing his stadium, the GOP thought Gov. Dayton would give their people, businesses, a taste of some tax cut sugar. Not so. Baird Helgeson and Mike Kaszuba at the Strib write: “In a stinging coda to a divisive legislative session, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday vetoed a GOP-led package of business property tax breaks that were a top priority for many of the state’s corporate leaders. The veto came hours after a session-ending triumph for Dayton and a bipartisan group of legislators, when Dayton made a rare, ceremonial show in the Capitol rotunda of officially signing the bill to create a new $975 million home for the Minnesota Vikings. Those who wondered whether Dayton would sign the tax bill as a goodwill gesture after some Republicans supported the stadium got their answer when Dayton issued a harshly critical, three-page veto letter. The tax bill, he said in the letter, would have blown a $100 million hole in the state budget in coming years.”

Though “disappointed” with the veto, Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem thinks the session was a “success.” Robb Murray of the Mankato Free Press reports: “Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem says the 2012 legislative session was largely a success, Mankato still has a good chance to get civic center upgrade funding, and Mark Dayton’s veto pen was the session’s biggest disappointment. Senjem swung through Mankato Monday to deliver his summary of the session and had mostly positive things to say. On the matter of Mankato’s years-long quest to get state funding for upgrades to its civic center, Senjem said the money allocated to the Department of Employment and Economic Development gives Mankato a good second chance. … Senjem said the last two years have been good for Minnesota. A $6 billion deficit was erased and now the state has a nearly $1 billion surplus. ‘It’s a result of the good work of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate,’ he said. ‘It’s nothing but positive for the state of Minnesota.’ Overall, he expressed optimism at where the state is at. But he said he’s viewing Gov. Mark Dayton’s performance as a dark spot on the session.”

According to one theory, Mitt Romney needs a really boring white male as his veep in order to avoid losing the spotlight, a la John McCain. Sadly, Rachel Stassen-Berger reports: “Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who once had his eye focused on the White House, said Monday that he absolutely is not vying to be vice president. ‘I’m going to take my name off the list, so if … you’re a journalist, an observer, remove my name from the list,’ Pawlenty said. ‘I went through it before with McCain’. … He was more vague about his future. Asked whether he might run for U.S. Senate or for governor in 2014, he replied: ‘I haven’t ruled anything in or out.’ “

On the topic of what Ron Paul is doing to the GOP here in Minnesota, Bill Jungbauer of the party’s executive committee writes in a Strib commentary: “In 2008, a movement began throughout our state, with Ron Paul being the force behind it. Paul did not get the delegates needed to be the Republican nominee, but his strength has been building the last four years. In 2009, many officer positions were won by libertarian-minded Ron Paul supporters within the Minnesota GOP. I was one of those elected to the state executive committee. Those of us who questioned Tony Sutton, the party’s chairman at the time, were scorned. Questions about the treasurer’s report were often met with hostility and denial. The majority of the committee who supported Sutton trusted him unconditionally. Membership changes on the state committee in 2011, and later the resignation of deputy chairman Michael Brodkorb, tipped the balance of power away from the chairman. Those of us asking the tough questions now had fellow committee members willing to listen. They, too, wanted answers, and we got them.”

Not that transparency was ever something the NFL would allow in its “negotiations” with Minnesota’s elected representatives. Martiga Lohn of the AP writes: “The Vikings stadium deal that Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law Monday involves plenty of public participation, but it also prevents the public from getting a look at the team’s finances during their partnership to build the $975 million stadium. … One provision would shield ‘any financial information’ from the team from public eyes. Critics say the blanket protection goes beyond current state law, leaving taxpayers in the dark on one of the state’s biggest public works projects. Minnesota law already allows businesses that get state money to avoid disclosing trade secrets, business plans, tax returns and other financial data. ‘We now have the largest public commitment in the state’s history in an agreement with the Vikings, and we have an unprecedented lack of disclosure,’ said Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, who voted against the stadium bill.” It’s as it should be. The “people” wouldn’t understand all the numbers supporting “The People’s Stadium.”

Jim Souhan of the Strib falls into an edifice rapture at the thought of “our” gorgeous sports buildings: “By 2015, Minnesotans will be able to visit Target Field and Target Center downtown, ZygiWorld by the original Hubert’s, beautiful TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus, Xcel Energy Center in a reinvigorated portion of downtown St. Paul, and even a new ballpark for the Gophers baseball team. By then, the Vikings’ stadium deal will even have contributed funds toward the renovation of Target Center. And by then, Minnesotans might be able to argue that no other metro area in the country features better sports venues than our Twin Cities. … For all of the logical arguments that can be made against publicly funding stadiums, cities are collections of buildings. Minnesota’s politicians have ensured that our cities for decades to come will be guaranteed the presence of major sports teams housed in gorgeous buildings.” Jim … It’s over. TeamStrib gave it everything it had. You guys poured it on and you won. Move on.

My 2.1 GPA in Remedial Tetherball looks pretty shabby next to this kid. The AP reports: “A Duluth college student has been honored for completing four majors in four years, with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. Brock Erdahl says he tried to carefully manage his time from the outset. He says he figured out exactly what he wanted to accomplish and planned accordingly. He was rewarded Sunday when the College of St. Scholastica honored him as a quadruple major. He earned bachelor’s degrees in history, political science, global culture/language studies and Catholic studies. For good measure, he also minored in French. Professor Randall Poole calls Erdahl a rare talent whose research papers were of the highest quality.” Thankfully, he says he’s interested in international relations … not a Goldman Sachs trading desk.

In an MPR commentary, former Minnesota NOW President Shannon Drury writes that she’s down with the “war on women”: “To my way of thinking, women started this country on the road to ruin 90 years ago, when they passed that amendment that gave every adult the right to vote. At first, it didn’t seem like such a bad idea — everyone assumed that wives would vote the way their husbands told them to, which meant that every married man got two votes instead of one. That sounds like a good incentive to get more fellows to the altar, doesn’t it? … That’s why I’m so happy there is a War on Women. It tickled me to hear that a gentleman like Rick Santorum had been out there talking about how contraception is ‘harmful to women’ (of course, he meant that it’s harmful to ladies, not women, but even Mr. Santorum can make mistakes. I hear his wife once attended law school, but I assume that by now he has forgiven her). It takes a man to tell the truth about ladies’ sex lives.  And the truth is, no lady should use contraception. Ever. If she did, it would suggest that she were having sexual intercourse because she wants to. No lady wants to have sexual intercourse. Ladies submit to their husbands’ advances because it is their duty to breed the next generation of male leaders and the women who are told to vote for them.”

You pretty much knew this without being told. According to research done by The Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, the Beloit billionaire caught on video asking Gov. Scott Walker how he was going to turn the state “tally red” … regularly avoids paying even a penny in state corporate taxes. “[Diane] Hendricks, whom Forbes magazine says is worth $2.8 billion, heads Beloit-based ABC Supply Company, which the magazine calls ‘the nation’s largest roofing, window and siding wholesale distributor’ with annual sales approaching $5 billion. ABC Supply may be a huge money-maker for Hendricks, but the Wisconsin corporate income tax returns she files claim the company makes not a penny in taxable profit. ABC Supply paid exactly $0.00 in state corporate income tax in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, according to the state Department of Revenue. Tax data for more recent years were not available when the information was requested from the department. … she speaks out herself in favor of low taxes and less regulations. The opening sentence in an op-ed she wrote in 2010 for USA Today says: ‘Taxing job creators is a sure way to stop the engine of economic growth.’ Well, she’s found a way to get around paying any state income tax on her business. After all, state tax law is full of plenty of loopholes for her lawyers and accountants to work with. It’s not known which loopholes ABC Supply used to avoid income taxes.” This is so silly. We all know taxes are for “the people.”

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 05/15/2012 - 06:40 am.

    Souhan’s Edifice Complex

    He just wants his bosses to know that HE knows which side his, and the Strib’s, bread is buttered on.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 05/15/2012 - 08:04 am.

    Extremely low definition of success

    Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem has a very very low definition of success. He obviously doesn’t understand the publics expectations. Wasted time, social engineering, operating on the fringe of society, coming up with solutions that are looking for a problem, signing pledges so they don’t have to work with the other party. Working together for all the citizen of Minnesota, not just those who will fund their next election is the expectation. Voters, actions have consequences. November will be a good time to give the republicans the consequences they deserve. Voters, speakly loudly in November.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 05/15/2012 - 10:40 am.

    I’m a little confused

    “[Diane] Hendricks, whom Forbes magazine says is worth $2.8 billion, heads Beloit-based ABC Supply Company, which the magazine calls ‘the nation’s largest roofing, window and siding wholesale distributor’ with annual sales approaching $5 billion. ABC Supply may be a huge money-maker for Hendricks, but the Wisconsin corporate income tax returns she files claim the company makes not a penny in taxable profit. ABC Supply paid exactly $0.00 in state corporate income tax in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, according to the state Department of Revenue. Tax data for more recent years were not available when the information was requested from the department. … she speaks out herself in favor of low taxes and less regulations. The opening sentence in an op-ed she wrote in 2010 for USA Today says: ‘Taxing job creators is a sure way to stop the engine of economic growth.’

    With annual sales approaching $5 billion, Hendricks’ company made no money? Is it privately held? Why would any sane investor put money into a company that big that made no profits?

    Oh, wait… They DID make profits, but avoided paying taxes on those profits, as the law allows them to do. In fact, they avoided it so successfully that they have paid zero corporate income taxes for the past 4 consecutive reportable years. If ABC paid no taxes, I’m left wondering why Ms. Hendricks is so hostile to the concept of corporate taxes, since her company pays none, at least on the income that it generates.

    As for turning Wisconsin into a “totally red” state, I’m left wondering if Ms. Hendricks’ company has to constantly deal with union work rules and the other, related, aggravations of a unionized workforce.

    Oh, wait. ABC doesn’t actually BUILD anything, an activity that often makes use of union labor. Instead, ABC merely supplies builders with materials. If “taxing job creators” will stop economic growth, and ABC has paid no income taxes in recent years, I’m left wondering how many jobs ABC has itself created. It ought to be a poster child for that “no taxes” rationale, and surely has created hundreds, if not thousands, of good-paying jobs in Wisconsin… Hasn’t it? I also can’t help but wonder how many of ABC’s employees are union members. My uneducated guess would be zero, and if I’m at all close, I’m left wondering, again, why Ms. Hendricks would be so hostile to organized labor when her own company has so little to do with it?

    Maybe she resents the prospect of a mere employee making a living wage, when any right-thinking business leader knows that the money, as it’s supposed to, flows to the top. Brian left out a word in his final sentence… “We all know taxes are for ‘the [little] people.’ ”

    • Submitted by Erik Petersen on 05/15/2012 - 11:27 am.

      Hendrick’s ABC Supply likely doesn’t pay WI corporate income taxes because… it’s not a corporation. It’s a sole proprietorship or an LLC. Kenneth Hendricks was the sole owner prior to his death a few years ago. It doesn’t seem that’s changed, ie, they haven’t appeared to have taken more partners. I can’t find a google that says as much. It’s just Mrs. Hendricks, and she ostensibly reports whatever profit on her personal taxes.

      So, dear lefties, it’s likely the outrage here is only possible by being completely ignorant of the tax and ownership situation.

  4. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 05/15/2012 - 02:31 pm.

    War on Women

    That is an interesting juxtaposition to have Minnesota NOW President Shannon Drury’s rant on Republican women in the same Glean as the bit about Diane Hendricks, worth $2.8 billion, heading Beloit-based ABC Supply Company and its $5 billion in sales. Hendricks doesn’t seem all that submissive to me.

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