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Minnesota Chamber of Commerce wants spending cuts to tackle state deficit

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce continues to push the Legislature to cut spending, not raise taxes, in the effort to resolve the state’s budget deficit.

That’s the message from Jim Pumarlo, communications director for the statewide organization of business owners, who was in Mankato this week:

“What we hear from our members, it’s still a fragile economy out there and we don’t think it’s the right time to raise taxes on businesses or families,” Pumarlo said, according to the Mankato Free Press.

“We’re not ready to kind of accede and say, ‘OK, we’re going to have all this new revenue,’ ” he said.

The chamber does agree with Dayton on one tax item: collecting taxes on Internet purchases. The group figures that would even the playing field for local retailers trying to compete with the online giants.

In the session’s early going, the Chamber will continue to fight other proposed tax increases, but with DFL control of the Legislature and the governor’s office, some tax hikes are likely. So there may be an eventual shift in tactics later in the session with emphasis on promoting the least-objectionable taxes, Pumarlo said.

“Our priorities remain the same,” he said. “But obviously your strategies can change. This year we’re going to be playing a little more defense on some issues.”

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