Exempting telecommunications equipment from sales tax build jobs in North Dakota

There was an interesting editorial in the Grand Forks Herald over the weekend urging Minnesota to look at creating policies that support technology sector growth. It builds the case that North Dakota has made policies to exempt telecommunications equipment purchases from sales tax and it has reaped benefits; the Minnesota Legislature is looking at doing the opposite.

There is more to North Dakota’s strong success than the oil boom. Lawmakers in North Dakota at the state and local levels are making sound policy decisions that create a climate favorable to business and job creation. For example, well-known tech firms such as Microsoft are choosing to locate and expand operations in the state. …

Case in point: North Dakota recently passed legislation that exempts telecommunications equipment purchases from the sales tax, thus creating an incentive and a “welcome sign” to high tech firms to invest in North Dakota’s communications infrastructure.

Technology is growing exponentially, and this kind of forward-looking policy is sure to put North Dakota in an excellent position to continue to be one of the most attractive places in America for new investment.

Minnesota, on the other hand, seems to be going in the opposite direction, especially as it relates to new, high-tech investment.

Minnesota is seriously looking at eliminating its sales tax exemption for telecommunications equipment. Investments in communications equipment is what will help to break down the digital divide, a stated goal of Minnesota’s Gov. Mark Dayton’s broadband taskforce.

Increasing taxes on investment in this infrastructure is a step backwards for Minnesota if it wants to attract modern business and the jobs it creates.

This entry was posted in economic development, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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