Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist sent the following letter to Wisconsin legislators:
I write today in opposition to any new taxes as part of mining reform, including a proposed tonnage tax imposed on iron mining companies. Mining reform should be about streamlining and simplifying regulations in order to allow businesses to create jobs in Wisconsin. It should not be seen as a money grab to grow state government coffers. A tonnage tax will limit mining companies’ ability to contribute to Wisconsin’s economy, and should be rejected out of hand.
Gov. Scott Walker and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald have made it clear that they do not support new taxes. Americans for Tax Reform applauds that stance. It is important to realize that Wisconsin’s economy does not exist in a vacuum. While the legislature and governor have partnered to take bold steps to modernize and grow the state’s economy, Wisconsin still competes with other states for jobs, commerce, population, and economic growth. The majority of states under Republican control – especially in the Midwest – are cutting taxes, streamlining regulations, and reducing the burden of government. It is imperative that Wisconsin lawmakers continue to take proactive steps to keep the state competitive. A new tax on mining is something the state simply cannot afford.
Perhaps the most dubious argument in favor of a tonnage tax is that it should be modeled after a tax levied in Minnesota. Mark Dayton’s Minnesota should not be the model for any economic policy. Minnesota’s tax increases will undoubtedly lead to more residents leaving the state – potentially to the benefit of Wisconsin, should the legislature stand with the governor and reject tax increases.
For those of you who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a new tonnage tax is a violation of that pledge.
I urge you to continue the hard work of streamlining mining regulations without raising taxes, which will lead to new jobs for Wisconsin residents. If you have any questions on this matter, please contact Wisconsin state affairs manager Josh Culling at firstname.lastname@example.org.