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Medical device firms spent millions to get the device tax to go away

By  and  Star Tribune staff writers

– It took tens of millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions, but in the end, Minnesota’s medical device companies got what they wanted out of Congress: the gutting of a sales tax they claimed was crippling them.

In the waning days before the Christmas recess, both chambers of Congress passed a two-year suspension of the 2.3 percent excise tax without finding a replacement for the lost revenue — a decision that would add roughly $29 billion to the national debt over 10 years if the suspension eventually leads to the tax’s permanent repeal.

Because tax repeals are incredibly difficult to pull off, particularly after the money has been collected, the medical device industry sank millions into behind-the-scenes lobbying on Capitol Hill and hefty campaign contributions to Minnesota’s politicians on both sides of the aisle.

The state is second only to California in the number of people — some 35,000 — working in medical technology at more than 700 companies.

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Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President of Ortho Sales Partners and Partner for The De Angelis Group. He also serves as Co-Founder and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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