Archive for April 2016

House to Pare Back Tax Cut Wish List?

House leadership recently released budget targets that focus the projected $900 million state budget surplus on tax cuts and increased transportation spending—two areas in which state policymakers failed to enact major legislation during the 2015 session. The bonding target in the House budget is $600 million. The House budget targets would provide no increase in…

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Minnesota's Growing Clean Energy Economy

According to the latest Clean Jobs Midwest survey, Minnesota’s clean energy economy is substantial. We have over 54,000 clean jobs across the state, and jobs in this sector are projected to grow 4.4 percent in the next year. Clean Jobs Midwest writes: 87% of the workforce are involved in energy efficiency, and 77% of the…

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A Brief History of LGA

For four and a half decades, the Local Government Aid (LGA) program has provided assistance to Minnesota cities to pay for essential services and infrastructure and to help hold down property taxes. In recent years, some state policymakers have attempted to increase funding for LGA, while others have said it is time to phase-out the…

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Mid-Week Reads: Campaign Funding and Climate Change

Every week, North Star will take some time out of our schedules to bring you our favorite reads from the past week. Jeff Van Wychen Fair Campaign Funding The editors of America Magazine bemoan the unrestricted political spending that has flooded into political campaigns and argue that the U.S. constitution should be amended to overturn…

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Minnesota to Tackle Rising Water Quality Concerns

Water contamination in Flint, Michigan has sparked a growing concern about water quality and water infrastructure across the country. The conversations around water quality issues have become more prominent in Minnesota as Governor Mark Dayton has recently convened the state’s first Water Summit, raising awareness and opening dialogues around Minnesota water supply challenges. While Minnesota…

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Minnesota in the Middle on Middle-Income Taxes

In conservative quarters, it is accepted as gospel truth that Minnesota is a high tax state. However, to some extent Minnesota’s high tax reputation is undeserved. While state and local taxes on high income households in Minnesota are above average, taxes paid by Minnesota middle income households are about equal to the national norm. The…

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Working Family Credit Works

Conservatives and progressives don’t agree on much—especially in the area of tax policy. However, one program that draws support from both ends of the political spectrum is Minnesota’s Working Family Credit. This tax credit helps families across the state meet basic needs while also encouraging work. At the same time, the credit helps to reduce…

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