The real story about tax breaks? Someone else must pay for them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Minnesota has a special tax break on its books for Tom Petters.

The Fingerhut break apparently was "very narrowly written" so it would apply to only one company, John Spry, an associate professor of finance at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, said before he testified at the committee hearing.

"I'm not sure politically how many people would want to go out on a limb for one of the Petters' companies today and sponsor this provision," Spry said.

"It raises the question: To what extent should the tax code be designed to help out one company at the expense of everybody else?" he asked.

At a minimum, he said, the Fingerhut example points to the need to review the 296 "tax expenditures," as the tax breaks are known, that the Revenue Department has identified.

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Originally published: 02/23/2011, Pioneer Press