New Minnesota telecom tax faces bipartisan criticism

The chairwoman of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s Broadband Task Force is joining in Republican criticism of a new state sales tax on telecommunications equipment.

Margaret Anderson Kelliher, a former Minnesota House speaker, has said the tax could be an obstacle to new broadband infrastructure and lead to fewer jobs in that sector. She has written Dayton about the tax and told Minnesota Public Radio News for a story Tuesday that the tax should be repealed.

Kelliher is a Democrat and currently directs the Minnesota High Tech Association. She says the tax will make it harder to reach a state goal of having border-to-border broadband by 2015.

The tax is expected to generate $75 million over the next two years. Republicans want it eliminated during a possible special session.