Taxes Mattered in Amazon Search—Minnesota is Out!

Date: January 19, 2018

In reality, the land of 10,000 lakes likely was never in the competition

Contact: Mike Hickey, Minnesota State Director, [email protected]
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 19, 2018—Comment from Mike Hickey, Minnesota state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

“It was announced Thursday that Minnesota did not make the cut and did not even get on the top 20 list of the sites that were being considered for the location of Amazon’s second major headquarters.

“For people who are knowledgeable about Minnesota taxes, this comes as no surprise and there was little chance a company that is headquartered in a low-tax state would choose to come to one of the highest tax states and expose itself to significant tax liability.

“For those of you who are not tax analysts, it should be pointed out that the state of Washington, where Amazon is located, does not have:

  • a personal income tax
  • a corporate income tax
  • a personal capital gains tax
  • or a corporate capital gains tax.

“The move to Minnesota would have exposed the company and any transferred employees to significant tax liability on all these taxes, along with some of the highest commercial property tax rates in the country — once any abatements ended! From the prospective Amazon company leadership, a move here would essentially be signing up for massive tax increases on both the company and any employees who elect to come to Minnesota.

“Minnesota taxes aren’t just high, we are in competition for the highest in the United States. It certainly creates a negative image for the state from a business perspective. We have the:

  • Third highest income tax
  • Third highest corporate income tax, 
  • Third highest individual capital gains tax (same as top income tax rate of 9.85 percent) 
  • Third highest corporate capital gains (also taxed at the same rate as other corporate income, 9.8 percent).

On commercial property taxes, we’re not doing much better. Clearly, Amazon would have built a large commercial structure that would have been taxed at a very high rate.

“Minnesota is a great place to live most of the year and we offer an educated and well-trained workforce and great outdoor and recreational activities, but if a company really cares about their balance sheet, the sting of high taxes, which this company apparently does, Minnesota was never really in the running.”


Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the National Federation of Independent Business is the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges in remaining open.

National Federation of Independent Business/Minnesota
380 Jackson St.
Suite 780
St. Paul, MN 55101
Twitter: @NFIB_MN

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Minnesota | Taxes

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