Minnesota economy would suffer if U.S. goes over 'fiscal cliff'

Lawmakers are headed back to Washington to continue a pre-election session this week. Without a deal on taxes and spending, a number of tax hikes and spending cuts will automatically kick in Jan 1. And officials say that would be bad for the Minnesota economy, MPR reports.
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Lawmakers are headed back to Washington to continue a pre-election session this week. Without a deal on taxes and spending, a number of tax hikes and spending cuts will automatically kick in Jan 1. And officials say that would be bad for the Minnesota economy, MPR reports.

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Minnesota lawmakers squabble over looming 'fiscal cliff'

It's only July, but Minnesota lawmakers in Congress are fretting over January – and not because of winter. Some observers say the nation's federal budget is headed for a "fiscal cliff." Without congressional action, on Jan. 1 Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and $109 billion in automatic federal spending cuts will be set in motion. A partisan rift has split the state's lawmakers as they debate what Congress ought to do about it.

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31 percent of Minnesota business owners and managers surveyed by the state chamber of commerce and a public relations firm see the state's economy improving. That's up from just 13 percent in last year's Business Barometer survey. As for what obstacles they face, high taxes was the most common concern followed by health care costs and finding qualified workers.