"Appalling" NoDak billboard takes shot at MN's business climate on MN soil [IMAGE]

Categories: Business
nodakbillboard.jpg
The subtext: North Dakota is more "open for business" than tax-crazy Minnesota.
A billboard recently erected in Moorhead has left some Chamber of Commerce officials with bunched panties.

SEE ALSO: North Dakota tries to market itself as hookup haven, fails

The plain-looking billboard (visible above), bought and paid for by the Greater North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, simply says, "North Dakota: Open for Business." Indeed, a recent study looking at the tax policies in each state found that NoDak has the 15th-most favorable business environment, while Minnesota's is 40th.

But while there may be some merit to the campaign's message, the fact that leaders of NoDak's business community would resort to taking a shot at Minnesota -- especially on a billboard on Minnesota soil -- has some regional business officials crying foul.

Craig Whitney, president and CEO of a combined Chamber of Commerce for Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead, says the billboard's message is unconstructive and wants it taken down immediately.

"We find this appalling," Whitney told the AP. "This is not the way to do business."

But the mastermind behind the North Dakota Chamber's message, former Duluth Chamber official Andy Peterson, says he has no regrets about the billboard and doesn't plan to take it down.

"As much as the Fargo and Moorhead people think this is about them, it is not about them. It has nothing to do with them," Peterson told the AP. "It's about what's happening in Minnesota that continues to suck the air out of the room."

In related news, a month after the Minnesota Senate approved a $1.8 billion tax hike, the Minnesota House passed a similar bill over the weekend. While some Democrats argue the tax increase will actually boost the economy by increasing the state's investment in public education and helping to pay for projects like a Mayo Clinic expansion, it certainly won't do anything to improve Minnesota's business-friendliness ranking in the short term, whatever that's worth.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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21 comments
Keira Kleen
Keira Kleen

Thanks Neighbors ! Are you kidding ? You did this to yourselves , your families and your posterity. You wanted the Free Stuff. You voted for the Hopey Changey. You wanted the Fairness. You didn't vote for Prosperity. Silly Lefty. Reality is for GROWN-UPS.

Kent Klinger
Kent Klinger

Yea because Minnesota is such a safe place to live.

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson

How many North Dakota cities are on the Best Places to Live list each year?

jo1glex
jo1glex

I think we're reading a wee bit more into this than it deserves.

Allen O'Leary
Allen O'Leary

Truth hurts, doesn't it? But then again, North Dakota does have the highest on-the-job death rate in the nation. Guess it evens out.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

serving all tweakers, felons, alcohlics, gutter rat shit heads, and all forms of desperate people

David Schlosser
David Schlosser

I wouldn't say it's appalling, I do find if funny after 40+ years of economic deflation and population lose, now ND thinks they know how to do everything because they found oil. ND went through this before and went bust and almost destroyed western ND. So the second time around the same thing is happening and the state is not investing in trying to keep new industry, just going off the oil. So they may be open for business, lest just see how long it will last THIS time.

Arkadi
Arkadi

Annoying, maybe. But appalling? Pfft.

Charlie Seto
Charlie Seto

The Dakotas are riding an oil boom, and the service industry that goes with it. Let them have their balloon.

Jean Claude Cau
Jean Claude Cau

Well, they do boast an unemployment rate that is half of Minnesota's. MN shed 11000 jobs last month. Maybe we should tax those smokers some more....

David Lloyd
David Lloyd

Most intelligent folks know better. Hardly anything to get upset about.

Amy Glaser
Amy Glaser

Wisconsin has this on its "Welcome to Wisconsin" signs. In the place where it always had the governor's name, it says "Open for Business." Yup, that's what Scott Walker wanted instead of his name. Blech.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Minnesota has always had the highest taxes in the 5 state area.  Minnesota has also had the highest quality of life, the highest wages, and the most fortune 500 companies per captia.   People don't want to live in North Dakota because it is a boring horrible place filled with small minded bigots.  No company with a smart CEO would move there because they would have trouble recruiting top talent.  Women, gay people, and minorities wouldn't want to live in North Dakota because of their redneck Republican laws.   Minnesota has culture, arts, and professional sports.  The University of Minnesota, St. Thomas, and the rest of the great colleges around here produce top talent.  That's what brings in business, not low taxes.  Smart states have high taxes which they invest in infrastructure, education, and quality of life.  They produce skilled talent and high paying jobs.   Dumb states have low taxes and no worker protections.  They use low wages to compete with China.  North Dakota is a dumb state that will rely on dumb billboards to attract jobs.  Minnesota is a smart state that has the highest percentage of adults with a college degree nationwide.  That's how we get jobs and wealth.  Lucky for Minnesota North Dakota will never be smart enough to turn their oil wealth into lasting wealth.  They will waste their money on fighting about what to name their college hockey team and expensive court cases involving abortion.  Minnesota will spend their money on education.  

LezlieCooterPounder
LezlieCooterPounder

@Jeff Anderson This article has nothing to do with "Best Places to Live", it has to do with business climate. Furthermore, comparing Minnesota to North Dakota as far as livability is concerned is like comparing apples to oranges. Minnesota has a major metropolitan area; North Dakota doesn't. But if you were to erase Minneapolis/St. Paul from the map, Minnesota really doesn't have anything to offer that NoDak doesn't. Both states are basically nothing but fly-over country. 

LezlieCooterPounder
LezlieCooterPounder

@MicheleBachmann "Indeed, a recent study looking at the tax policies in each state found that NoDak has the 15th-most favorable business environment, while Minnesota's is 40th."

There goes your argument. 

dustinhaning
dustinhaning

@MicheleBachmann This is rife with overgeneralizations but it's not too far off.

It is true that there are fewer high school and college educated people and just fewer people overall in North Dakota which is the biggest issue. The only way you're going to entice people to move to North Dakota is by paying them a lot more than they will get anywhere else (look how much they have to pay people to work in the oil fields in the western part of the state). The extra cost of salaries and benefits you'd have to offer would offset and maybe even exceed the tax savings you get. Plus you're still going to be subject to federal taxes in North Dakota which is the biggest chunk of taxes you pay anyway.

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