ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- Chamber leaders want Minnesota lawmakers to take a look at lowering the corporate tax rate.

Julie Lunning is the President of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. She says one of their top priorities during this session is to get lawmakers to hold the line on taxes and fees that continue to increase for businesses.

It's always good to be number one in something, but something that really unfortunate that happened this last month is that Minnesota became number one as the state with the highest corporate tax rate.

Lunning says during last year's session the legislature passed $10 billion in new taxes over the next four years, and increased spending by 36 percent.

She says the high taxes make it difficult for businesses to stay here, grow here, or move here.

Because of this, we are seeing more expansion of Minnesota businesses outside of the state of Minnesota than we see new businesses wanting to relocate here.  That's an issue for our state.

Meanwhile, she says many surrounding states are making corporate tax reforms to entice new businesses.

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce held an Evening at the Capitol earlier this month and the St. Cloud Chamber's Evening at the Capitol is coming up on March 19th.

Another priority for the St. Cloud Chamber during this session is the city's $100 million bonding request spread out over five years for improvements to the downtown.

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Coming up in April, the St. Cloud Chamber's annual Washington D.C. fly-in will take place.  Lunning says at the federal level their biggest priority is immigration reform to address the workforce shortage in central Minnesota.

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