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July 29, 2010

RAEDI wants $10M in city sales taxes for economic fund

You have to stay for the end, if you want to hear the good stuff.

That's the lesson I took away from the hour and half panel discussion about the potential of bioscience in the area.

In the last two minutes, Gary Smith of the Rochester Economic Development Inc. tossed out a bit of a grenade.

Here's some from my piece on this. More is posted here.

I'll have more on this event later.

To create an economic development fund, RAEDI and the Rochester Area Chamber Commerce plan to ask the city for $10 million of sales tax money.

07292010biobusinesspanel Gary Smith, the executive director of Rochester Area Economic Inc., announced the plan this afternoon at the end of a panel discussion titled "Building Rochester’s BioBusiness Future Through Collaboration."

"We've been doing this on a nickel budget. It is time for some real money to do this," said Smith, after a panel of leaders from Mayo Clinic, IBM, the Hormel Institute and the University of Minnesota Rochester spoke about the potential of bioscience.

One theme was how biotechnology start-up companies with local roots are looking elsewhere to develop.

Steve VanNurden of Mayo Clinic's Office of Intellectual Property Mayo Clinic told the crowd of community leaders gathered in an unfinished section of the Minnesota BioBusiness Center that his office has directly helped launch 42 companies based on Mayo-created technology.

"None of those 42 companies are based here," he said.


"None of these companies are based here," Why do we need to use tax dollars to help a start up company unless we are the startup company? I can understand delayed tax benefits based on building or developing current property but throwing money out there is another issue.

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