As the Great Minnesota Shutdown continues, its impact is hitting more and more people. Recently I read how a number of small eateries in down town areas are reducing hours and staff due to a drop in business as a result of state workers being put on furlough.
Now I am reading how a number of restaurants, bars and other outlets are running out of booze. Man, that’s hitting us where it hurts. I better buy a couple of bottles of wine for the Sangria I want to make this weekend while I can. It seems that a number of businesses were unable to renew their licenses in time before the shutdown. Kind of like how I didn’t get to buy a fishing license before the shutdown, only the former has a greater impact on Minnesota’s economy.
From the Star Tribune:
Of the roughly 10,000 establishments that sell liquor in Minnesota, most of those who needed to renew their buyer purchasing cards managed to do so before the July 1 shutdown started. About 300 were caught with cards that expired on June 30 and no way to renew the permits.
That number will grow to 425 by the end of the month, according to state officials, and grow as more cards expire at random intervals.
And it gets better, or worse, depending on your point of view.
The state has stopped issuing the tax stamps that distributors must glue to the bottom of every pack before it’s sold for retail.
Holy pack of smokes, Batman! People won’t be able to get their cancer sticks if this goes on.
Of course, all this means is that Wisconsin and other neighboring states may enjoy an upswing in business as those who can will drive those few extra miles to fulfill their needs.
The entire only reason Governor Dayton vetoed the budget bills passed by the State Legislature was because he wanted to raise taxes in order to justify more spending. Meanwhile, Minnesota businesses, as well as state workers are paying the price of Dayton’s shortsightedness and agenda of government greed.
Just a little background for those who missed it. The previous biennium budget, covering July 1, 2009 through June 30th 2011 was for $30 billion. The budget passed in May by the State Legislature was for $34.4 billion. (courtesy the Star Tribune.) That’s an increase of nearly four and a half billion dollars, or about 12% larger than the previous budget. The projected state revenues for the current biennium (BEFORE the shutdown) was $34 billion, which means the Legislature did their job and turned in a balanced budget (for once). Dayton called this Draconian as it didn’t spend enough money; his budget called for an additional $2.6 billion in spending with significant and draconian tax increases to help pay for it.
When Dayton failed to get his way on spending and taxes, the Governor, who garnered a mere 43.6% of the popular vote (less than 9,000 ballots more than Tom Emmer at 43.2%) and believes that constitutes a mandate for his tax and spend into oblivion agenda, chose to shutdown the state government, throwing private sector workers as well as state workers under the bus, and ruining small businesses.
A couple of final thoughts that I need to share. If this goes on, how long will it be before we start seeing a black market in cigarettes and booze? And why, since the state is shutdown, are we still paying sales taxes, excise taxes and dealing with income tax withholding? Shouldn’t the state stop collecting those as well in the interim? Yeah, I know, wishful thinking there.