A coalition comprising many Minnesota business groups has launched a statewide ad campaign criticizing tax increases that have been proposed by Governor Mark Dayton and Democratic lawmakers.
The group, operating under the name United for Jobs, said it represents more than 50 chambers of commerce, business trade associations, and businesses from throughout Minnesota. Among its members are the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Business Partnership, which represents more than 100 CEOs from Minnesota’s largest employers.
The coalition is spreading its message through television, radio, newspaper, and online ads, which take aim at Dayton’s budget proposal and his plans to increase spending.
The first television ad, which began airing Wednesday, specifically criticizes Dayton’s plan to boost taxes for the state’s top 2 percent of earners. The commercial tells viewers that Minnesotans already pay some of the highest taxes in the country, and Dayton aims to raise them further in order to fund unnecessary spending increases.
“There’s a more responsible way,” the ad states. “Go line-by-line. Cut the waste. Do your jobs. Make government more efficient and effective. Be accountable for every single taxpayer dollar you spend.”
The ads do not, however, identify specific areas in which the government should be more effective, or how waste should be cut.
The fist television ad can be viewed here:
The campaign’s cost will exceed six figures, Charlie Weaver, head of the Minnesota Business Partnership, told the Associated Press (AP). Weaver characterized the ads as “firm but respectful” and said they shouldn’t impair the ability of business leaders to work with Dayton and other Democratic leaders going forward, the AP reported.
“Increasing state spending by over $2 billion when our economy is struggling to improve isn’t fair to hardworking Minnesota taxpayers who will have to foot the bill,” Weaver said in a statement, adding that if the government could cut just $0.02 on every dollar spent, it would save more than $700 million.
The ads encourage Minnesotans to contact Dayton and their legislators to voice concerns about increased spending and taxes.
Dayton’s office has said that about 54,400 Minnesotans would be affected if taxes are increased for the state’s top earners—and the move would generate about $1.1 billion in new revenue. The governor’s budget proposal would boost education spending and aid to local governments, among other things.