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CONNECTIONS MARCH 2013 - Vol. 44, Issue 3

IN THIS ISSUE... Leadership

P2 - Article by Cathy Haukedahl P3 - A Recent Grow MN! Visit P3 - Chamber Annual Conference P4 - Article by Pat MulQueeny

Community Building

P5 - Eden Prairie School District P5- Ambassador Site Visits P6 - March Gardening in MN P6- Certificate of Origin P7-Fusion Rebranded P7-Chamber Public Policy Breakfast

Over100 exhibitors, activities for the kids, FREE seminars & raffle drawings all day long, and FREE ADMISSION FOR ALL. The Divine Grind will be open for snacks & beverages. There is still time to be an exhibitor but we are almost sold out! Go to epchamber.org to register. Save your spot today! Sponsors include: BWS Heating & Air Conditioning, Durst & Gans Building Corporation,The Greenery Schack Landscaping, Home Depot (Eden Prairie), The Lawn Ranger, Plekkenpol Builders, Inc, Sun Current, Super Seal Sealcoating, Toll Brothers, Xcel Energy

B.E.E.R. Luncheon

Public Policy

P8- Article by David Olson

Join the Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Richfield Chambers of Commerce (B.E.E.R.) as we hear from Narayana Kocherlakota, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Kocherlakota will give an update on his perspective from the local and national level regarding the economy and monetary policy.

Networking

P9- Tax Article by Eric Nelson epchamber2 Follow us on Twitter!

Cancellations must be received 3 business days prior to the event for a refund. All no shows will be billed. Substitutes are accepted.

Look for us on Facebook “Eden Prairie Chamber”

Location: Edina Country Club, 5100 Wooddale Ave. S., Edina, MN

Look for us on LinkedIn “Eden Prairie Chamber”

Price: Member-$25 & Non-Member-$50 Narayana Kocherlakota

Visit our YouTube Channel “EPChamber2” Join the Discussion! epchamber2.blogspot.com

Register: epchamber.org or call (952) 944-2830

NEWSLETTER PREFERENCE- ELECTRONIC or PRINT If you want to only receive an electronic version of the newlsetter, please send an e-mail to communications@epchamber.org and in the subject line, put “Electronic Newsletter Only.”

THANK YOU to our 2013 Annual Sponsors! Gold Sponsor Silver Sponsor General Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

Silver Sponsor General Sponsor

YOUR CONNECTION TO BUSINESS & COMMUNITY SINCE 1969


Leadership March Madness & Tax Reform

By Cathy Haukedahl, 2013 Chamber Board Chair Flagship Bank

No matter what side of the political fence you’re on, most people believe the State of Minnesota must have Tax Reform. Is implementing a Business Service Tax the best way to do it? If the Bill passes, what is the impact to your business and your clients? Have a better idea? Please consider contacting your elected officials to share your thoughts and ideas. You can reach: Representative Jenifer Loon, R, District 42B 651.296.7449 rep.jenifer.loon@house.mn Representative Yvonne Selcer, D, District 48A 612.280.5427 yvonne@yvonneselcer.com Senator David Hann, R, District 42 651.296.1749 US Congressman Erik Paulsen, R, District 3 952.405.8510 http://paulsen.house.gov/ On Saturday, March 16th 9AM-3PM please join fellow Eden Prairie Chamber Members for our Annual Home and Garden Show at Grace Church. We have over 100+ exhibitors, lots of activities for the kids, FREE seminars and raffle drawings all day long. Plus! The event is free to attend. The Divine Grind will be open to serve snacks and beverages throughout the day.

In an effort to bring greater value to your Eden Prairie Chamber membership, we present the first of four B.E.E.R. General Membership Luncheons. B.E.E.R. events are “partnership” Luncheons with the Bloomington, Edina, Eden Prairie and Richfield Chambers all invited. On Wednesday, March 27th 11.30AM – 1PM, we will hear from Narayana Kocherlakota, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Kocherlakota will give an update on his perspective from the local and national level regarding the economy and monetary policy. This luncheon is a great way to expand your reach to other chambers. Have you heard the big news about Business at Breakfast? We’ve had record breaking attendance since the first of the year! For $10, you’ll enjoy a light breakfast, a laugh or two and have the opportunity to network with 40+ motivated local business folks. Please RSVP to Brianna at the chamber, be prepared to give a 45-60 second commercial about your business, bring business cards and join us! We are a light-hearted networking group securing real business. We meet Wednesdays – 7:30-8.30AM in the 2nd floor Community Room of The Colony. Business @ Breakfast is where I started my Eden Prairie Chamber career. In my opinion, it’s been the best ROI resulting in measured sales and securing professional resources. Best wishes for a Successful March!

Sponsorship Corner ~ February ~

Ambassador Lunch Sponsor (All Year)

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General Membership Luncheon

“Connections” (USPS 729770) is published 12 times per calendar year by the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, 11455 Viking Dr. #270, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 Periodicals postage paid at Hopkins, MN - POSTMASTER: Send address changes to “Connections,” 11455 Viking Dr. #270, Eden Prairie, MN 55344


Leadership A Recent Grow MN! Visit at Flagship Bank

Grow Minnesota! FAQ Q: What is Grow Minnesota!? A: Grow Minnesota! harnesses public and private resources necessary to keep Minnesota companies strong, evolving and accelerating their growth. The program operates in partnership with 60 local and regional chambers of commerce and conducts regular retention visits with close to 1,000 Minnesota companies each year. The visit provides an avenue for an opportunity to thank businesses for operating in Minnesota and when needed providing assistance to help the businesses grow and succeed here. Its primary goal to retain businesses and encourage them to expand in Minnesota.

Pictured are Troy Noor, Chair of the Chamber’s Business Development Committee, Cathy Haukedahl, Branch Manager and Vice President Business Banking, Roy Terwilliger Chairman of Flagship Bank, and Greg Albrecht, Managing Partner and Founder of M & A Executive Search.

Flagship Bank Eden Prairie offers a full range of business and traditional banking services-from checking and savings to personal and business loans. As a member of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce and through partnerships and support with organizations like the Eden Prairie AM Rotary, Eden Prairie Lions and Lioness, Crime Prevention Fund, Prop Shop, People Reaching Out for Other People (PROP), and Eden Prairie Schools, Flagship Bank Eden Prairie has become an integral part of this vibrant community. “Eden Prairie is a premier environment for both businesses and families. We are focused on offering a common sense approach to banking, and financial services provided in a caring, helpful and friendly manner,” says President Steve Droen.

Q: How does my business benefit from this program? A: In 2012, 800 business leaders conducted face-to-face business retention visits and as a result of these visits, 88 businesses received direct assistance that impacted more than 4,500 Minnesota jobs. The program also helps connect and match Minnesota businesses with Minnesota suppliers and/or customers. Q: Who conducts the Grow Minnesota! visits and who can I contact to set up a visit with my business? A: The program has a network of 56 local partners representing chambers of commerce (including Eden Prairie) or private-sector economic development organizations. Contact Pat MulQueeny with the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce at 952-944-2830 or any member of the Business Development Committee to set up a visit. In addition, business visited by the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce are featured in the following month’s EPC Connections newsletter giving them additional exposure at no cost.

Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference Summary U.S. Chamber CEO and President Tom Donohue keynoted the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives Annual conference. He highlighted numerous issues at the federal level including the financial mess we are in. He stated that people do not understand about our country’s debt, but they do understand budgets and the need to run a balanced budget. He highlighted that the all the states combined have a major issue in underfunded pensions – an estimated $3.5 trillion deficit. Our leaders continue to look at the solutions as falling into two buckets – 1. Cut spending or 2. Raise taxes/revenue. Donahue highlighted that there is a third bucket – ENERGY. The great thing about America is that we have more energy than anyone and pursuing our energy will help bring back manufacturing jobs. In the last 2 years 1.75 million jobs have been created because of fracking. One issue that is hurting our economy is regulations on business – it needs to be balanced to help the economy grow.

11455 Viking Dr. #270, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 • Ph: 952-944-2830 • Fax: 952-944-0229 • www.epchamber.org

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Leadership State of the City Program Draws Big Crowd By Pat MulQueeny, IOM, President Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce

Pictured from left to right are: Pat MulQueeny – President of the Eden Prairie Chamber, Curt Tryggestad – Superintendent of Eden Prairie Schools, Rick Getschow – City Manager for Eden Prairie and Mayor Nancy Tyra Lukens

The Chamber’s State of the City luncheon drew a large crowd to hear from Chamber President Pat MulQueeny, Eden Prairie School

Superintendent Curt Tryggestad, and Eden Prairie City Manager Rick Getschow. The crowd included business owners, managers, entrepreneurs from businesses of all sizes, plus elected officials and staff from the Minnesota House of Representatives (Jenifer Loon), office of County Commissioner Jan Callison, plus members of the Eden Prairie School Board, City Council and the Chamber’s Board of Directors. All three speakers highlighted the great things that are taking place in Eden Prairie, new development, economic activities and new ways of learning. A rebroadcast of the program will be airing on local cable TV. Some key highlights included a summary from the Chamber’s Annual Business Survey that showed: • 53% of businesses saw an increase in net income in Top Ten Then and Now 2012 versus 2011 2002 Employees 2012 • 2/3’s of businesses held flat on their employment numbers with an additional 21% adding employees SuperValu 1,500 Optum • 71% of businesses expect their sales to grow in 2013 Eden Prairie ISD #272 1,400 Eden Prairie ISD #272 • 39% expect to add jobs in 2013 GE Capital Fleet Services 1,000 CH Robinson • On the economy – business are split with 34% feeling Starkey Laboratories 950 Starkey Laboratories the economy is on the right track, 30% saying it is not on MTS Systems 815 SuperValu the right track and 36% uncertain. Eaton Corporation 692 CIGNA • Top issues facing businesses – government regulations, ADC Communications 653 Dell followed by taxes and third was an educated workforce. CH Robinson 484 GE Capital Fleet Services • Member satisfaction – 93% of our members on a scale American Family Insurance 470 Eaton Corporation of 1-10 rated the Chamber a 7 or higher in terms of their Emerson.Rosemount 470 MTS Systems satisfaction. TOTAL

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8,434

TOTAL

11455 Viking Dr. #270, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 • Ph: 952-944-2830 • Fax: 952-944-0229 • www.epchamber.org

Employees 1,800 1,500 1,462 1,436 1,260 1,200 1,000 900 850 708 12,116


Community Building Update from the Eden Prairie School District By Eden Prairie Schools

Great things continue to happen in your school district. There is much enthusiasm about new initiatives that will benefit students as well as plans taking shape for the next school year. Here are some of the highlights happening in Eden Prairie Schools: • The Eden Prairie School Board has approved Superintendent Tryggestad’s recommendation for a full-day gifted program for highly gifted learners to be implemented in the 2013-14 school year. The purpose of the full-day program will be to provide a challenging curriculum at an accelerated pace. This program will be developed to meet the unique academic and social/emotional needs of these students in a supportive educational environment. The full-day program will be located at Forest Hills and Prairie View elementary schools, with one class section per grade level. The program is scheduled to roll out over a three year timeline to eventually serve grades 2-6. Along with the full-day program, current levels of gifted and talented services will be maintained at all district elementary schools including KEY, acceleration services, differentiation support, and district coordination of services. • All of the nearly 1,400 seventh and eighth graders at Central Middle School had an iPad assigned to them on January 29. They not only use them to learn, create and share during the school day, but they also take them home and are able to continue their learning there. “The iPad launch went very, very well. We had a few little glitches, all of which were easily addressed,” said Josh Swanson, executive director of technology for Eden Prairie Schools. “After all of the planning, and preparation, it is rewarding to finally see iPads in the hands of our students and to hear that they are already realizing the benefits of this technology.” The next phase of the i-Learn@EP initiative will be the roll-out of MacBook Air laptops to EPHS students at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. High school teachers already have the laptops, and carts of the Airs are circulating in the building and are being used by students in various classrooms. A pilot launch to a small group of high school students is being planned for fourth quarter. • As part of the continuing effort to listen to parents and

community members, Eden Prairie Schools is conducting a telephone survey to solicit input about a possible referendum election in November 2013. The district has contracted with Decision Resources, Ltd., a Minneapolis-based polling firm to conduct the survey. The district has two levies that will expire at the end of the 2014-2015 school. The first is an operating levy that generates $1,200 per pupil, or about $13 million each year. Revenue from the operating levy represents about 14 percent of the district’s general fund budget. The second levy is a technology levy, also known as a capital projects levy. This levy currently generates about $6 million per year. The revenue from this levy is used to cover the cost of the district’s technology equipment, infrastructure and staff. Information from the survey will help the board and administration to determine whether to schedule a November 2013 referendum election and the proposals that would be included on the ballot. • Eden Prairie Schools is beginning the process of developing its general fund budget for the 2013-2014 school year. The final budget needs to be approved by the board prior to June 30, 2013. This year’s budget development process is taking a multi-faceted approach. Rather than just looking at ways to balance the budget, Superintendent Curt Tryggestad and the district administration are approaching the process by looking for opportunities in the following three areas: :  Adjustments – budget reductions and shifts to reduce general fund expenditures  Investments – budget increases in specific areas to strengthen the district’s educational offerings  Organizational and strategic efficiencies – changes in the district’s organizational structure to better prepare for the future and the implementation of the strategic plan As part of the budget development process, the district has identified a gap between revenues and expenditures of approximately $4.6 million for 2013-2014. The budget gap is caused by two major factors. First, the district will receive less revenue due to its lower student enrollment. The size of the incoming kindergarten class is expected to be smaller than the current year’s grade 12 class. In addition, funding from the state has not kept pace with the increased costs of operating the school district.

Ambassador Site Visits from February 2013! Nerium Terry Rea, Senior Brand Partner 4400 Dunham Drive Edina, MN, 55435 612-382-8148 www.trea.nerium.com

Perfect Storm Broadcasting Brett Johnson Wayzata, MN 612-756-9142 bjohnson@psbmn.com

Safire Nutrition Michelle Platzke, co-owner 6409 City West Parkway Eden Prairie, MN 55344 612-644-9771 www.goherballife.com

Venture Photography Tracy Dolliff, Owner 6551 York Ave. S Edina, MN 55435 952-345-3392 www.venturephotography.com

11455 Viking Dr. #270, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 • Ph: 952-944-2830 • Fax: 952-944-0229 • www.epchamber.org

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Community Building March Gardening in Minnesota?

By Mark Halla The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Center If you are like me, you are tired of winter and anxiously awaiting the chance to get your fingers dirty again. Clearly, it’s still much too early to get out into the garden with the rototiller or to plant anything outside, but, even in Minnesota, there are a multitude of things you can do to prepare to get your garden growing.

a slightly larger pot so they have a chance to rejuvenate their root system which will help them flourish even more. Now is a good time to fertilize all of your indoor plants, but go a little lighter on any freshly repotted ones so that you don’t burn any of the newly exposed roots. •MAINTENANCE: Did you remember to sharpen the blades on your mower and change the oil last fall? Many of us intentionally wait until spring, and March almost always brings some warm enough days to get outside and tinker with the mower, rototiller, weed whip, blower, etc... Sharpen your blades, check your belts and tires, replace your air and fuel filters, check the spark plugs, add fresh fuel and start everything up to make sure it is ready for action!

•PLANNING: If you intend to have a vegetable or herb garden, now is the time to finalize your plans complete with measurements and a layout. Research your crops to find out how much space they need, when to plant (based upon soil temps and desired harvest date), and where to plant. Consider maintenance requirements and mature heights so you can access plants more easily and not block the sun from the plants on the innermost part of the garden. Remember to read the seed packages thoroughly, they include all the information you need for a successful crop.

•EXPLORE: March is the month when many local communities host events to help you get excited and prepare for our beautiful Minnesota spring and summer ahead. Check out the community calendar through your city and county, and make plans to attend as many spring expos as you can fit in. Most of them are free of charge and will give you a chance to meet many of the local suppliers in your community that can help you plan, prepare and execute whatever home project you have dreamed about this past winter. My two favorites: Eden Prairie’s Home, Landscape & Garden “Everything Spring Expo” (March 16, 2013) and the SW Metro Home, Landscape and Lifestyle Expo (March 9, 2013)

•PLANTING: Did you know March is a great time to get some seeds started and growing inside your home? Many vegetables, herbs and flowers can be planted inside now and then transplanted to the garden as soon as spring really does arrive. Some of my favorites are Parsley, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Eggplant, Lettuce, Peppers, and, of course, Tomatoes. If you like Hanging Annual Baskets, you can save a lot of money by starting your own inside right now so they will be full and beautiful by Mother’s day! For those of you that like unique Perennials, many of the newest varieties are only available as seeds and can easily be started indoors alongside the rest of your plants.

•REMEMBER: As you sow, so shall you reap! So plan ahead, work smart, and prepare for a bountiful harvest that you can share and enjoy with your family, your friends, and perhaps even the local food shelf!!!

•REPOTTING: Most of us have a least a couple houseplants that help us survive the winter. March is a perfect time to repot them into

Certificate of Origin: Free for Members By: Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce

Does your company send products overseas or to for-

eign countries? Do these countries require a Certificate of Origin stamp from the Chamber? If so, the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce is here to help. We provide Certificate of Origin stamps free to our Chamber members! Simply call ahead when you need your documents stamped to let us know you are coming in, bring your documents and we will stamp and sign for you. It is that easy!! History on Certificate of Origins:

·

Certificates of Origin were established in 1923 by the Geneva Convention and due to the widespread network of Chambers of Commerce they were selected to do Certificates of Origin for businesses.

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·

Country of Turkey – by law companies must join the Chamber – either the business is a Chamber member or they are a black market business

·

What does a Certificate of Origin mean to exporters – that the product doesn’t get stuck in customs, their banks use it to verify documents when payment is letter of credit, the product goes into a foreign country at a lower tariff or duty or no duty rate is applied to the product which could save the company 3-7% For more information, please call our office at 952-944-2830.

11455 Viking Dr. #270, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 • Ph: 952-944-2830 • Fax: 952-944-0229 • www.epchamber.org


Community Building MN State Senator David Hann and MN State Representatives Jenifer Loon and Yvonne Selcer Speak March 8th at Chamber’s Public Policy Breakfast Minnesota State Senator David Hann along with State Representative’s Jenifer Loon and Yvonne Selcer will be speaking to the Chamber on Friday, March 8th, 7:30–9:00 a.m at Biaggi’s Italian Restaurant. They will be highlighting the issues and bills being proposed, how they may impact or benefit businesses, and will answer your questions. Representative Loon is serving her third term and is the Deputy Minority Leader. She serves on the Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy, Rules and Legislative Administration, Taxes and the Ways and Means committees. She has been a member of the Eden Prairie Chamber since 2008.

Jenifer Loon

MN State Representative

Yvonne Selcer

MN State Representative

Representative Selcer is serving her first term as a MN State Representative. She serves on the Education Finance, Transportation Policy and Energy Policy Committees. David Hann is serving his 4th term as MN State Senator.He serves as Chair of Health & Human Services Committee while also serving on the Education and Finance Committees. Cost to attend this program is $20 for members, $30 for non-members and includes a full breakfast. Register at www.epchamber.org. Sponsorships are available and include:

David Hann

MN State Senator

• Recognition in the Chamber newsletter and promotions • Recognition at the event • Two program registrations Sponsorship fees are $125 per Public Policy Breakfast or $300 for all three programs (April 5th is U.S. Congressman Erik Paulsen and May 3 is Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison) To sponsor, please call 952-944-2830.

Fusion Rebranded

By: Sarah Rosenow, Fusion Co-Chair I am very excited to declare a new year of Fusion. Fusion in the past was called the Chamber’s Young Professional Group, which brings to mind someone fresh out of college, and just starting a professional career. As a late 20 year old- I hesitate at the distinction of a young professional. Even though I would consider myself young, I believe that the title I have in my job requires a higher level of distinction than young professional –even though that is exactly what I am! Luckily my perceptions of a young professionals group, and the reality of what Fusion is, are vastly different from one another. Fusion is a group that encompasses some individuals who are just starting their careers along with individuals who own their own companies, individuals who are working their way up the corporate ladder, individuals who are single, individuals who are married, individuals with children, non-Chamber members, Chamber Members, and anyone else you can think of. The one distinction that we do have, is that the group is made up of individuals under the age of 40. That’s it! We are also adding socials throughout each month to help facilitate continual community building, learning from business peers, and networking opportunities. To learn more about the group visit epchamber.org, or contact the Chamber at (952) 944-2830. If you have any questions about the group please feel free to contact one of the co-chairs: Kieth Schultz kieth@sharpermanagement.com or Sarah Rosenow: rosenow@bucainc.com. So sign up and tell all of the emerging leaders that you know to join Fusion. We give our emerging professionals the opportunities to network, learn and build a better community.

11455 Viking Dr. #270, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 • Ph: 952-944-2830 • Fax: 952-944-0229 • www.epchamber.org

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Public Policy A voice for spending discipline By: David Olson, President / www.mnchamber.com Minnesota Chamber of Commerce State finances and the projected $1.1 billion shortfall for the two-year budget cycle beginning July 2013 are certain to dominate the 2013 Legislature. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and our statewide chamber federation remain your voice for spending discipline. Our insistence on focusing first on spending reform to close the gap has drawn a challenge from Gov. Mark Dayton. He asks for specifics from those who advocate a cuts-only approach to balancing the budget, asking how they’d pay for additional programs and services. Even before the governor presented his plan for solving the budget gap, new requests for spending were being forwarded: •The Governor’s Transportation Finance Advisory Committee is seeking a higher gas tax and tab fees to help the state pay for transportation – boost the gas tax to raise more than $15 billion over the next 20 years and increase vehicle registration fees by 10 percent for another $1 billion. The most recent increase in the gas tax, passed as part of the 2008 transportation law, just took effect this past July. •The Education Finance Working Group appointed by state Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius presented a wish list that carries an annual price tag of $634 million. •Legislative proposals for the new state health insurance exchange include increasing premiums 3.5 percent to cover operating costs. •Many public retirement funds are not in balance, and some employee groups are indicating they want the state to fund the difference. Then came what the governor promoted as a balanced approach to solving the budget, a combination of increasing taxes and reducing spending. His proposed cuts, unfortunately, are dwarfed by significant tax increases of $2.1 billion. For the next two-year budget cycle, he has proposed a 7.6 percent increase in spending – that represents another $1 billion above the already $1.6 billion in projected growth. His $224 million in spending reductions pale in comparison. The Legislature convened on a common theme of helping Minnesota compa-

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nies remain competitive in this fragile economy; his proposed budget threatens to send jobs out of the state. You can see why a different approach is needed. The Minnesota Chamber is ready to work with the administration and lawmakers to redesign the way services are delivered. We support the administration’s outcomes-based budgeting. We look forward to serious legislative debate on spending priorities and results. The governor and the Legislature will be making decisions about state spending and taxes that will have considerable impact on all of us. Our state leaders must not take actions that will place employers at a competitive disadvantage in the national and global economies. Just look what’s happening around us. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple is recommending reducing the top rates of both the individual income tax and corporate rate. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced his goal to lower income taxes for the middle class and small business. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed to lower property taxes for all types of properties. South Dakota presents the longstanding challenge with no individual income or corporate tax. In all fairness, there is more to these comparisons, but the important theme is the message they are sending to investors and employers. Minnesota’s general-fund revenue for the 2014-15 budget is projected at $35.8 billion. That’s up 2.4 percent from the current biennium, without any tax increases. At the same time, state government spending – without any changes – is anticipated to increase by 4.7 percent to $36.9 billion. We’re not advocating a “cut” in spending; we’re saying let’s live within the additional $850 million the state expects to collect in taxes during the next two years and get smarter about how we deliver programs and services now. Minnesotans will be best served if we focus first on ways to make government more efficient before automatically opening the spigot for higher taxes. David Olson is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce – www.mnchamber.com.

11455 Viking Dr. #270, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 • Ph: 952-944-2830 • Fax: 952-944-0229 • www.epchamber.org


Networking How You Can Sail Smoothly Through Tax Season 2013 By: Eric R. Nelson, CPA LLC

Having prepared tax returns for over 20 years, I’ve found a few items along the way that I believe can make your tax filing season a little smoother. Charitable Contributions In order to properly claim a charitable contribution, you must have one of these forms of substantiation. 1.) Cash contributions must be substantiated by canceled checks or receipts from the charity. For cash contributions of $250 or more, additional substantiation is required. 2.) Non-cash contributions require written acknowledgement from the charity and, among other things, a description and good faith estimate of the value of any goods you contribute. Simply using last years’ figure is never legal.

garbage. The IRS does not send e-mails relating to your tax account, so never respond if you receive such an e-mail. Keep Good Records The value of keeping good records for tax purposes is immense. Not only does it make your tax filing experience much easier, it will also assist you in the case of a tax audit or inquiry. If you’re not sure how to improve your record keeping, speak with a professional about setting up a simple system you can stick with.

Protecting Yourself against Tax Identity Theft Tax Identity Theft occurs when someone files a tax return under your social security number for the purpose of receiving fraudulent tax refunds or other financial fraud.

Other Ideas • Take advantage of e-filing to ensure your return is processed correctly in a timely manner. • Avoid the log jam by scheduling an appointment with your preparer early. • Do some tax planning throughout the year to avoid surprises and take advantage of saving ideas. • Taxes represent at least a third of your income. A qualified CPA can help you manage and minimize them.

Protect yourself by always shredding bank, financial, tax and other identifying documents and never throw them in the

For more information on your tax preparation, contact Eric Nelson at eric@erncpa.com.

Valentine Vixen’s

February 14th, 2013

11455 Viking Dr. #270, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 • Ph: 952-944-2830 • Fax: 952-944-0229 • www.epchamber.org

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This is a publication of: Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce

11455 Viking Drive, Suite 270 Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Ph: 952.944.2830 Fax: 952.944.0229

www.epchamber.org

MARCH 2013 - EPC Calendar of Events

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday 1

4

5

6

7

7:30- 8:30 AM, Business@ Breakfast at The Colony

8 7:30AM- Public Policy Breakfast @ Biaggi’s

11:30 AM - Ambassador Committee Mtg. at EPC Office

4:30-6: After Hours @ AirMaxx *Newsletter ads due to EPC

11

12

13

14

15

*Newsletter inserts due to EPC

SEE YOU TOMORROW AT THE HOME, LANDSCAPE & GARDEN EXPO 9AM-3PM @ GRACE CHURCH

21

22

7:30- 8:30 AM, Business@ Breakfast at The Colony

18

19

20 7:30- 8:30 AM, Business@ Breakfast at The Colony

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM- Fusion Meeting w/Edina @ Hellmuth & Johnson, PLLC

11:30 AM- 1:00 PM, Women’s Networking Luncheon

7:30- 8:30 AM, Business@ Breakfast at The Colony-Guest Day 11:30- B.E.E.R Luncheon @Edina Country Club

4:30 - 6:00 PM - After Hours @ ApplianceSmart

PLEASE RSVP FOR ALL EVENTS BY 12 PM THE DAY PRIOR! Visit epchamber.org to view details, pricing or to RSVP today!


March 2013 Newsletter