Despite Feds Cracking Down on Shady Tax Moves, Medtronic Keeps Dodging

Categories: Economy, Taxes

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Cover of our October 1 issue

The Feds are trying to hold Medtronic's feet to the fire for its shady, shady tax moves (as we outlined in last week's cover story), but it appears nothing will stop the company from moving overseas to avoid paying higher taxes in the United States.

The controversy stems from Medtronic's proposed purchase of the medical device company Covidien, based in Ireland, earlier this year. The purchase was tricky, designed so that Medtronic could stay in the United States but put its new headquarters in Ireland and take full advantage of the tax benefits.

See also:
Medtronic Isn't Leaving America, It's Just Stiffing Us With The Bill


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While Other States Take from Feds, Minnesota Gives More Than It Gets

Categories: Politics, Taxes

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Susan Lesch via Wikimedia

We've all heard the story before (like in the2012 presidential election): A whole lot of Democratic voters are freeloaders, living where they can just take from the government and never have to work. With its relatively high taxes and blue-leaning government, Minnesota would seem to fit right in.

But if anybody's freeloading off the government, it isn't us. According to various studies, it's actually, ironically, mostly right-leaning, anti-government states that are raking in the benefits from feds. And in the supposedly overtaxed lands of Minnesota, we're actually one of only 15 states that's giving more to the government than we're getting.

See also:
Twin Cities Passed Detroit, Now 2nd Largest Economy in Midwest


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Minnesota doing better on taxes than much of the Midwest

Categories: Taxes

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401kcalculator.org

It's a common trope you hear about Minnesota: The state's parks, infrastructure, and education are all great. But taxes? They can sometimes be just too high.

Well, it may be time to rethink that notion. A new study -- from a libertarian-leaning think tank, no less -- says that compared to some other Midwestern states, Minnesota's taxes are just fine.

See also:
Here's why Minnesota's relatively high tax rate isn't necessarily a bad thing


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The complex truth behind the political spin on property taxes

Categories: Taxes

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Jeramey Jannene

Taxes can be complicated. That was the case earlier this week, when a report on property taxes from the Minnesota legislature's House Research Department became something of a rallying point for the state's Republicans, with many coming out saying that the report, and its projections for property taxes over the next two years, clearly shows an attack on the middle class.

Minnesota GOP Rep. Matt Dean has been especially vocal on Twitter, writing in a tweet on Wednesday that, "The bullseye was stuck on greater MN & suburban families. They raised their taxes plain & simple."

See also:
Here's why Minnesota's relatively high tax rate isn't necessarily a bad thing


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Here's why Minnesota's relatively high tax rate isn't necessarily a bad thing

Categories: Lists, Taxes
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401Calculator.org
You know the old saying, "You get what you pay for?" WalletHub's state-by-state analysis of what residents pay in state taxes compared to the services they get for them shows that Minnesota taxpayers are getting at least that much.

The study finds that Minnesota has the best government services in the entire nation. However, only 12 states (including D.C.) have higher tax rates. When the two are put together, Minnesota comes out with the 17th-best return on investment (ROI) with regard to taxes of any state.

See also:
Star Tribune publishes anti-tax letter written by TCF Bank CEO and doesn't identify him


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Smoke shop worker says customers cry, ask for single cig thanks to new tax

Categories: Taxes
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Sure, smokers aren't thrilled with the $1.60-per-pack tax that went into effect in July, but would you believe some are crying about it?

SEE ALSO: E-cigs banned at Target Field

That's how the sticker shock has manifested itself at one Twin Cities smoke shop, if a worker there can be believed.

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Lung Association's Bob Moffitt looks forward to July, when cig taxes go up $1.60 per pack [INTERVIEW]

Categories: Taxes
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Moffitt, a former smoker himself, has arguably become Minnesota's leading anti-cigarette activist.
After a $1.60-per-pack cigarette tax increase goes into effect on July 1, Bob Moffitt expects many Minnesota smokers to do as he did after college and quit.

Moffitt, director of media relations for the American Lung Association in Minnesota, says he kicked his cigarette habit cold turkey many years ago, and he supports the move Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature made this session to make Minnesota's cigarette taxes the highest in the five-state area.

FROM JANUARY: Smoking is slowly becoming illegal in Minnesota

"We expect our phones to be ringing off the hook after July 1," Moffitt said. "We expect a lot of calls from people who want to quit."

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History suggests increasing Minnesota cigarette tax won't be as lucrative for state as some think

Categories: Taxes
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Doubling cig taxes may reduce smoking, but it won't necessarily produce a cash infusion for the state.
In a commentary published in the Star Tribune today, economist Patrick Fleenor of Fiscal Economics Inc. makes a persuasive case that the state stands to gain less than lawmakers think from a GOP-proposed cigarette tax hike.

Minnesota's cigarette tax is currently near the national average, but the GOP proposal would raise the per-pack tax from $1.23 to more $2.52 per pack. That could amount to as much as $320 million annually for the state -- if people buy cigarettes legally.

And therein lies the problem, Fleenor argues. History shows that when Minnesota's cigarette taxes get out of whack with the rest of the country, people start smuggling cigarettes. And when people start smuggling cigarettes, taxed sales drop.

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In unusual move, GOP legislators propose tax increase

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Two GOP senators are proposing a tobacco tax hike.
Two Republican senators have introduced a bill to increase the state's tobacco tax from 35 percent to more than 47 percent.

The tax revenue, which could amount to as much as $320 million, would be funneled into the state's general treasury. According to Politics in Minnesota, earlier this week, one of the bill's co-sponsors -- Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester (the other is Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont) -- touted the increased tobacco tax as a way the state could reimburse schools the $2 billion owed them as a result of the funding shift used to pay down last summer's budget deficit.

The bill, which represents a rare instance of Republican legislators proposing a tax increase, now heads to the Senate Tax Committee.

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Minnesotans support taxing smokers to close budget gap

Categories: Taxes

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More than half the survey respondents would support increased cigarette prices.
​If the stress from thinking about Minnesota's budget deficit makes you think about lighting up a smoke, think again. Nearly 60 percent of Minnesotans would support increasing cigarette state taxes on tobacco to help solve the state's looming $5 billion budget deficit.

Those respondents supporting a tax increase weren't thinking in small numbers: 70 percent of those who favored an increase would approve of raising cigarette prices by up to $1.50.

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