Inequitable economic development

by Sen. Sandy Pappas

In his recent address, Gov. Tim Pawlenty mentioned a manufacturing company in northern Minnesota, Twist Drill, which, with the help of a grant of $2.7 million from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board and multiple tax exemptions promoted by the governor, was able to expand and add jobs. ThatâÄôs great. However, what about a similar manufacturing business in St. Paul that has never received a dime of public money, is a union shop, is 70 percent employee-owned and has been a successful manufacturer? That St. Paul company is Viking Drill. ShouldnâÄôt it be treated the same as the publicly supported Twist Drill? Does Twist Drill pay union scale wages? No. Are they also mostly employee-owned? No. What an unfair economic development policy. It is better to provide across-the-board tax incentives to all small manufacturers, not just a chosen few. Sen. Sandy Pappas DFL-St. Paul