Up in Duluth there’s a not so little 200 employee company that makes protective gear for motorcyclists, you can check them out at www.aerostitch.com . Their riding suits protect riders from injury in crashes and Minnesota’s weather extremes, and their reflective panels prevent accidents by making motorcyclists more visible. Aerostitch’s excellent products draw riders from around the world who often add Duluth to their itineraries while touring the U.S. so they can get a properly sized riding suit, a 10% discount on in store sales, and save on shipping charges to boot. Having dropped several hundred bucks into Duluth’s economy buying a new riding suit, they often stay a day or three touring Duluth’s numerous attractions and drop hundreds of dollars more on the local economy. Accidents and injuries are prevented, the customers get a custom fitted riding suit at a discount, and our economy benefits… What’s not to like?
And it’s not just motorcyclists who will pay more to be safer under the Governor’s proposal… Blue collar workers will be taxed too. Over the years I’ve often paid over a hundred dollars for steel toe boots and jackets with reflective panels required by my employers. Sure, I could have bought boots made in a sweatshop or worse on the other side of the world for under $100, but I buy union made in America whenever possible. And even though employers sometimes reimbursed me for this safety gear, they don’t reinburse for sales taxes on said safety gear.
So tax the fashionistas for their hundred dollar and up couture, please! But give us motorcyclists and blue collar workers an exemption for safety gear, ‘specially if it’s made in Minnesota!