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Minnesota employers up on economy but down on state's 'business climate'

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Minnesota employers seem to be of two minds as they ponder whether Minnesota is a good place to do business.

According to a new survey, Minnesota employers are more optimistic about the economy and more are reporting increased profitability than at any time since the 2008-09 recession.

But when specifically asked about the state's "business climate," employer confidence has hit its lowest level in the survey's 10-year history.

“I’m surprised that in a year coming out of this recession that the business-climate favorability numbers would drop,” Todd Rapp of Himle Rapp & Co., told the Star Tribune.

But the dip may be related to the fact that the 2013 Minnesota Legislature slapped a steep increase in personal income tax rates on the top 2 percent of Minnesota income earners, the Star Tribune notes.

Lawmakers this year created a fourth income tax tier for wealthy Minnesotans, and 55 percent of business owners and managers said that would affect their hiring decisions, Rapp told MPR.

Rapp has conducted the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce-sponsored survey for the past 10 years, and he planned to present the latest findings to the chamber Thursday.

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