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ALERT! "TAX FREE TWILIGHT ZONES"

April 26, 2003

Just as the radical promoters and developers of the Profile of Learning marketed their product under the false title of "high standards," our state legislature is about to embark on selling the public a planned economy under the false title of "tax free zones."

As in the early days of the Profile, without public understanding, this legislation is being pushed through as rapidly as possible by both Democrats and Republicans alike, many of them thinking that Minnesota will really get "tax free zones."

The legislationís title, "tax free zones," implies a level playing field for all businesses in a "zone." However, faster than you can say, "Johnny canít read but he can bag farm chemicals," non-elected governmental appointees, by their own admission, will be picking the "winners and losers" (which "businesses" will qualify).

Is a state-planned economy coming to Minnesota? Will it involve government-preferred industries, government-chosen businesses, and local schools restructured to provide entry-level labor training to meet local needs? Yes, if the so-called "tax-free" zones bill (H.F. 3 & S.F. 496) is passed into law in the few remaining days of this session.

The Profile of Learning/School to Work System has damaged a fine educational system in Minnesota costing our state, not only millions and millions of dollars, but the minds and futures of our children. It still, after 5 years is not repealed. The Profile of Learning/STW system was a means to an "end." The "end" was a ready supply of trained (rather than educated) workers for preferred businesses. If H.F.3 & S.F.496 are passed, the "train, not educate," system will never end, because this legislation requires the "support" of the local schools and educational institutions. ("Support" meaning to provide trained workers.)

Are we willing to further damage our public education system and repeat history by passing H.F.3 & S.F.496? A planned economy is the end of a free-market economy. How many years will it take to undo THIS legislation?

What will the political fallout be if the Republican Party is the party that puts its name to contra-free market legislation that supports the continuation of the Profile/STW philosophy?

Answers to FAQs on Tax Free Twilight Zones:

  • Tax free zones are not tax free "areas." They are tax free "businesses."
  • This system, by design, willfully opposes our free market economic system.
  • Qualified businesses pay no taxes for 12 years including: property, state, vehicle, payroll and sales taxes.
  • In a related bill, investors in the qualified businesses receive a 25% tax break.
  • Existing businesses in the rurally depressed area right next to a qualified business receive NO tax relief.
  • By the Governorís representativeís own admission, government will choose "winners" and "losers."
  • By abdicating taxes for some, we are increasing the tax burden for others or the likelihood of increased taxes statewide to compensate.
  • Most businesses will never qualify!
  • State government becomes a full partner and the state commissioner becomes, through sheer power, the silent CEO of the "qualified" businesses.
  • The qualified businesses are required to pay "high wages" (determined by the state commissioner) creating a new minimum wage and a further burden on existing businesses across the street which do not have the tax-free status (if the tax paying business has any employees left).
  • Entire tax-free "empires" are possible when up to 5000 acres of noncontiguous land, used by a qualified business, can be designated as tax-free. All of the friends of the "qualified businesses" can be invited into the zone to share in the tax-free status.
  • The Profile of Learning/STW system laid the foundation to redesign our schools into workforce training centers for the government preferred, "qualified businesses."
  • "Educational support" in Sec. 15 of H.F. 3 means that schools, according to our Governorís liaison, will agree to the loss of tax revenue from tax-free businesses. According to "A Governorís Guide to Creating a 21st Century Workforce," published by the National Governorís Association in 2002, schools will use the School to Work/Profile of Learning methodology of work-based/performance learning to provide a steady stream of workers to "support" the tax free businesses:

    "The next generation of WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT POLICIES must engage the private sector and then ENTIRE public-private enterprise of training and education, starting in ELEMENTARY and secondary school and continuing through college and WORKING LIFE. In this vision, workforce policies...are CUSTOMIZED to the needs of individuals and EMPLOYERS and are LINKED CLOSELY TO THE ECONOMIC PRIORITIES of STATES and COMMUNITIES." (Emphasis added)

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