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July 30, 2014

Congress’ top tax policy authors hear from Minn. businesses big and small

The chairmen of the U.S. House and Senate committees that write the nation’s tax policy came to Minnesota Monday as they gather suggestions for improvements.

Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana and Republican Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan were making the first stop in what they call a tax reform tour of the country. Bloomberg reports on their visit to 3M’s campus in Maplewood.

“There is a bit of a bubble in Washington,” Baucus acknowledged. Their midsummer escape from the beltway brought them to a company pushing for a lower corporate tax rate. Bloomberg reports 3M says it would be worth it to forgo some existing tax breaks in exchange for lowering the federal corporate tax from 35 percent to 25 percent.

3M is also lobbying for changes in the way the U.S. taxes the foreign income of multinational companies. The company laid out its views in a letter to a working group of the House Ways and Means Committee in April.

The lawmakers are optimistic Congress will be able to break through partisan gridlock to agree on a tax reform bill. As Camp put it “There will be partisan differences but ultimately there will be a bipartisan bill.”

Baucus and Camp next headed to St. Paul’s east side to visit Baldinger Bakery. MPR reports the bakery has about 100 employees and sells hamburger buns to customers including a restaurant chain called McDonald’s. Steve Baldinger, whose great-grandfather founded the bakery more than a century ago, urged simplification of the tax code, MPR says.