Recently, Governor Mark Dayton has expressed interest in joining the bidding war among metropolitan areas attempting to lure the Seattle online retail giant Amazon to the Twin Cities. MPR recently reported this rush to attract the Seattle company as the “Amazon HQ sweepstakes.” Tina Liebling, a DFL Candidate for Governor of Minnesota, released the following statement:
“I respectfully disagree with Governor Dayton’s planned participation in the “Amazon sweepstakes.” Minnesota is a great state for business, with a hard-working and well educated workforce, good schools, and a high quality of life. We should not and need not offer tax breaks to huge corporations that give them further advantages over Main Street businesses.
In the wake of Wisconsin’s FoxConn disaster, where the Chinese company was given massive tax breaks at the expense of everyday Wisconsinites, Minnesota should do right by its citizens and refuse to participate in the bidding war. Under a Liebling administration, we would welcome companies that want to relocate or expand in Minnesota and bring good jobs for Minnesotans. However, any requested “deal”—especially with companies whose business model drives may have negative impacts on Minnesota’s small businesses, natural resources, or other assets—must be evaluated by whether it has broad benefits for ordinary Minnesotans that outweigh any public costs and risks. If we keep making special deals for large corporations, we will continue to hurt small, local businesses in every Minnesota neighborhood.
Governor Dayton has done many good things for Minnesota, but this situation demonstrates the need to elect a true progressive to follow him and continue a move toward prosperity for all, not special breaks for huge corporations like Amazon. A better course of action for Minnesota would be to repeal the special tax benefits of the corporations and the very wealthy who have captured most of the benefit from the growing economy and increased productivity of workers. Then we should use the money to help ordinary Minnesotans get the education and health care they need, start small businesses, and revive our towns and local economies.”