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Report says Twin Cities metro pays out far more in taxes than it receives in aid

Plus: Best Buy cut thousands of jobs amid increased sales; comprehensive sex-ed bill introduced at Legislature; musician Peter Ostroushko dies; and more.

Minneapolis
Minneapolis
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

That’s where the money is. WCCO reports: “A new report shows that businesses and residents in Minneapolis pay significantly more in taxes to the state than the city receives back in aid. … The report released Thursday from the Minneapolis Regional Chamber found that in 2017 the city paid out $1.97 billion in taxes while receiving just $543 million in state aid — a ratio of 3.5 to 1. … ‘Minnesota has an interconnected economy, where all regions contribute to and support the success of one another,’ said Jonathan Weinhagen, the president and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber, in a statement. ‘However, the data in this report makes it clear that, from a revenue perspective, those contributions are not equivalent.’ … According to the report, which was compiled by the local research firm MacCallum Ross, Hennepin County and the seven county metro area also pay more in taxes than what they receive back in aid. Additionally, these lopsided contributions have been consistent every year since at least 2004.”

Not a good pandemic for retail jobs. The AP reports (via KSTP):Best Buy said Thursday that it laid off 5,000 full-time store workers earlier this month, even as the company’s sales soared during the pandemic as homebound people bought laptops, TVs and other gadgets. … The company said it cut the jobs because more shoppers are choosing to buy online instead of coming inside its stores. Best Buy said it will replace the 5,000 full-time employees with 2,000 part-time workers. … Best Buy’s workforce has shrunk in the last year after having to furlough workers when it closed stores during the pandemic. It currently has more than 100,000 workers, down by 21,000, or 17%, from the year before.”

Sex ed bill at the Legislature. MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports: “A bill that would require school districts and charter schools to provide a comprehensive sexual health education program in elementary and secondary grades beginning in the fall of 2023 won approval in a Minnesotan House committee Wednesday — without the support of Republicans. … The legislation sponsored by Rep. Sydney Jordan, DFL-Minneapolis, would require the Minnesota Department of Education to develop a model program, including written materials, curriculum resources and instructional training. … Young people need good information when making decisions about their health, their bodies and their relationships, Jordan said, and right now there is no statewide standard to make sure students get that information.”

A big loss. The Star Tribune’s Jon Bream reports: “Nobody at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church was quite ready for musician Peter Ostroushko to speak at his own fundraiser after he’d suffered a stroke. Not ready for the humor. The honesty. The warmth. The grace. The inspiration. … Seated in a wheelchair, the virtuoso Minneapolis mandolinist/fiddler explained that the stroke had left his left arm useless. ‘I can’t play an instrument,’ he pointed out. ‘My voice is compromised from the stroke.’ Just then church bells rang. ‘Hello?’ Ostroushko responded. … During his 20-minute ad-libbed monologue, the musician, one of Minnesota’s finest in any genre, understood his situation, but his mind was as sharp as ever. ‘I want to dispel a myth,’ he said. ‘I got a phone call from someone who left a message on the phone that they wouldn’t be making it to my last concert. I’m not playing. This can’t possibly be my last concert.’ … Ostroushko, who worked with everyone from Bob Dylan to the Minnesota Orchestra, died Wednesday afternoon of heart failure. He was 67.”

In other news…

Update:Falcon Heights approves plan to name section of Larpenteur Ave. after Philando Castile” [KMSP]

Welcome to:Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen opens two MN locations, including Burnsville” [Pioneer Press]

International Polar Bear Day is coming up:New Como Zoo polar bear Nan comes to St. Paul” [KARE]

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