To the editor:

With last week’s announcement by Governor Walz of a plan and a timeline to fully reopen Minnesota’s economy, businesses can finally start moving down the road to recovery. Unfortunately, the road won’t be without obstacles, including workforce and supply chain issues.

Adding to those obstacles is the fact that Minnesota legislators have yet to pass Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) full federal tax conformity. This means the 100,000-plus Minnesota businesses that were granted PPP loans from the federal government will be forced to pay millions in unexpected taxes to the state. It’s important to note that no neighboring states are taxing PPP loans, putting Minnesota businesses at a significant competitive disadvantage.

Local businesses took these loans to keep their doors open and to keep their employees earning paychecks during a year of uncertainty. They did the best they could to stay afloat while operating with restrictions and protocols. Why would legislators punish them further with this taxation?

Our local businesses will face additional and unnecessary economic uncertainty because our lawmakers are not acting on this important issue, which should have been handled months ago. Our legislators need to move beyond partisan lines and consider what is best for Minnesota business. With just days left in this legislative session, it is long overdue that we stand up for Main Street.

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Tara Bitzan, executive director, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce

Alexandria, MN