Judge dismisses lawsuit against JOBZ programby Laura McCallum, Minnesota Public Radio
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state's JOBZ economic development program.
St. Paul, Minn. — The program creates tax-free zones outside the seven-county metro area. Businesses in the zones pay no state or local taxes for up to 12 years.
A homeowner and a business challenged the constitutionality of the program. But Ramsey County Judge Marybeth Dorn ruled the plaintiffs didn't have standing to sue over the program, and that there was no evidence that JOBZ led to higher taxes for the plaintiffs who weren't in the program.
The acting commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Ward Einess, says the judge's ruling is great news for rural Minnesota.
"A lot of people interested in participating in the program have kind of held off pending the outcome of this litigation. And now that this has been resolved, I think we'll see an uptick in the number of individuals and businesses that want to participate in the JOBZ program."
Since JOBZ began in 2004, businesses in the program have pledged to create more than 4,000 jobs.