July 31, 2017

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Glenn McKee, owner of Games by James and MnRA Board member, along with Devee McNally and Julie McAdam of Madesmart in front of the U.S. Capitol after paying visits to Minnesota's federal elected officials in opposition of the border adjustment tax.
Federal Update  
Border Adjustment Tax Dropped From GOP Budget Plans

From the Star Tribune, Jim Spencer, July 27, 2017

"The retail industry, led by Target Corp. and Best Buy Co., won a major victory Thursday when the White House and Congressional leaders announced that they have "set aside" a border adjustment tax that could have raised the price of imported products and parts by as much as 20 percent.

Pitched as a major revenue source in a Republican-backed tax reform plan, the border adjustment tax also was touted as a key to returning manufacturing jobs to the U.S. by making imported products less competitive.

But the potential impact on consumer prices and jobs in the import-heavy retail sector led to a relentless lobbying campaign that eventually succeeded.

"While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform," said a joint statement by Republican leaders led by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The border adjustment tax was projected to raise some $1 trillion in revenue over a decade by requiring companies to pay taxes on the full purchase price of imported items and not just on profits from those sales. Exporters, meanwhile, did not have to pay any added tax on the products shipped abroad."

Border Adjustment Tax  
How One Retailer's Voice Made A Difference In Washington, DC: Games By James' Glenn McKee & BAT 

Most small retailers don't have a moment to spare. And neither did Glenn McKee when he got the call about going to Washington, DC to talk with Minnesota's elected officials about the proposed border adjustment tax a month and a half ago. 

But McKee, owner of several Games by James and Air Traffic stores, decided to take a few days away from running his business to tell his real life story about how the proposed high import tax would negatively impact his suppliers and ultimately his customers. 

McKee's efforts and those of many other retailers produced important results last week when an influential group of legislators announced that the border adjustment tax had been dropped from the federal budget plan.

Following an initial visit to DC in June, McKee made a second trip a week later, and a third just two weeks ago to deliver the message that the border adjustment tax threatens to damage retailers of all sizes with noticeable impacts on communities across Minnesota.

"If you don't think one or two or three or 10 conversations can make a difference, try telling that to Glenn McKee" said Minnesota Retailers Association president Bruce Nustad. "The pressure to pass the border adjustment tax was tremendous, but voices like Glenn's made a made a huge difference in this conversation. We are so grateful to Glenn and others."

"In the beginning I questioned how my voice as a retailer in Minnesota could impact on this conversation", said McKee in reaction to the announcement. "But it turns out delivering the straight story and helping those that are elected to represent us understand this issue had a deep impact. I feel like I made a difference."    


It's Coming... October 4!

In the ever changing world of retail, retailers and their partners have a new place to find support, ideas, training, education and innovation to help their businesses not only survive, but thrive.

The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to announce Retail Rally--coming to the retail community October 4 in partnership with the University of St. Thomas.

Watch your inbox for more details in the coming weeks!
Local Update 
Why Anybody Interested In Minneapolis' New Minimum Wage Law Should Pay Attention To The Court Case Against Paid Leave   

From Minnpost, Peter Callaghan, July 28, 2017

"They were arguing about paid leave. But it almost seemed like they were talking about something else.

While the court case that was heard before the Minnesota Court of Appeals earlier this month was all about challenging the City of Minneapolis' sick and safe leave ordinance, it could also be seen as a dress rehearsal for an even bigger issue, as many of the legal concepts in play could reappear in any challenge to the recently approved citywide minimum wage law.

Depending on where the Court of Appeals - and the state Supreme Court in a likely appeal - go in their rulings, the case will provide a road map for how a challenge to the minimum wage law might fare.

Should Minneapolis win, it will bode well for city officials worried about fending off a legal challenge to its new wage rule. But should the court side with any of the issues raised against the paid leave law, the much-argued and much-celebrated Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance could be in peril."

2017 Legislative Session  
MnRA Releases 2017 Legislative Recap For Retailers    

Late last month the Minnesota Retailers Association released its annual legislative recap report digesting policies considered, passed and vetoed during the 2017 session.

In addition to a letter a from Board Chair Ruthena Fink (Grand Jete) and MnRA Government Relations Director & Legal Counsel Brian Carr, the report contains: 
  • a quick glance summary of retail issues;
  • a digest of bills impacting retailers;
  • and new this year a select issues voting record.

Members are being e-mailed this report directly this evening. 

Non-members, partners, and media can request a copy of the recap or summary by e-mailing bruce@mnretail.org.

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Minnesota Retailers Associaiton
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St. Paul, MN 55101
Tel. (651) 227-6631 - mnretail.org - mnra@mnretail.org