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Hurt by Wisconsin competition, border town Taylors Falls seeking legislative help

It’s tough being a Minnesota border town, especially when business tax incentives are being doled out across the river.

That’s what Taylors Falls officials say is happening there, so they’re seeking legislative permission to become a border city development zone, which would let them provide commercial and industrial tax breaks, reports the House Information Office.

Only five other Minnesota cities have the border city development zone designation: Breckenridge, Dilworth, East Grand Forks, Moorhead and Ortonville.

Taylors Falls is across the border from St. Croix Falls, Wis., and Mayor Michael Buchite said it’s difficult to lure businesses into town because of Wisconsin’s lower property tax rates. Getting a bill passed for the border zone designation would “give us at least the opportunity to compete,” he said.

The bill was approved Monday by the House Local Government Division but still faces many other hearings in both chambers.

Rep. Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan) said he wishes similar tax incentives could be applied throughout the state to make it more competitive.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Craig Westover on 01/27/2009 - 11:27 am.

    But I thought tax policy — specifically being a high tax state — didn’t affect business location decisions. Very puzzling. Instead of tax cuts, why not raise taxes in Taylor’s Falls and provide even more free government services. That would show those Wisconsin folks what good government can do.

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