ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- It's a bill proposal that has never been
accepted in Minnesota, but the state is only one of four who don't do
it... a sales tax on clothing.
Many Minnesotans enjoy that
apparel hasn't seen the extra fees, but it likely means a different
category is picking up the slack.
That was the center of discussions Wednesday at the capitol.
"Taxing clothing is long overdue," said Sen. Ann Rest (DFL - New Hope).
state Senate subcommittee reviewed a series of sales tax bills,
including the one to make clothing sales above a $200 taxable. Rest,
co-author of the bill, said the tax base needs to be broader. "We rely
way too much on the property tax to fund those things that Minnesotans
want and that they need," Rest said.
Weighing in on the meeting
was an official for Minnesota's largest tourist attraction: The Mall of
America. "I'm hoping we were able to communicate how important not
having an apparel tax is on attracting tourism to the state," said
Maureen Bausch, Executive Vice President of Business Development at The
Mall of America.
Bausch says anything to de-rail the tourism flow
would not be a good idea because the current no-tax pitch is powerful.
"This one tax would decrease our tourism, at least our tourism, by
40-percent," Bausch said.
However, Rest disagrees. "It's just
a little bit far-fetched to make the claim that people will not come to
the Mall of America which is the number one attraction in Minnesota,"
Sen. Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen) is also on the
committee and raises question. "Are we really talking about revenue
increases? Or are we talking about good tax policy changes that won't
impact the bottom line?" she said.
Rest chooses the first option.
the base and lower the rate," she said. "We're going to be looking at
other areas of the sales tax that do the same thing."
"And every time Minnesota raises taxes, there's less opportunity for hiring, buying, investing, and educating," Ortman said.
says it's always an uphill discussion because people seem to have
emotional reaction to taxing something they think is a necessity.
The number one tourist attraction in Minnesota is the Mall of America. Number two is another retailer... Cabela's in Medford.
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