Archive for August 2017

Uneven Population Growth Since Mid-Century

Minnesota’s population has increased by 2.5 million people (85 percent) since the middle of last century, but the rate of that growth has been unevenly spread geographically and over time. The following analysis provides a description of Minnesota’s population change since 1950, focusing on the amount of the change and where it has occurred. The…

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Undocumented Immigrants as Taxpayers

Undocumented immigrants in the United States have long been a hot political topic. The vast majority of these immigrants are not “criminals, drug dealers, and rapists,” but instead are “integral to the nation’s economic growth” and have little to no negative impact on native-born workers in the long term, according to a recent report from…

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Get to Know the Safety Net: Health Centers

Map of FQHC sites in Minnesota

We at the North Star Policy Institute strive to provide quality and thorough analyses of major policy conversations. In today’s contentious health care environment, policy changes, proposals, and critiques quickly flood the conversation, and they can turn into overly-wonky, exhausting jargon pits. Keeping this in mind, we will produce a series of articles that explain…

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More Required to Stabilize ACA Individual Market

Insurance coverage table Minnesota

At the beginning of August, Minnesota health insurance companies released their expected changes in premium costs. The proposed average changes were separated into two major groups: changes with reinsurance and changes without reinsurance. As a quick reminder, Minnesota passed reinsurance legislation in April in an attempt to control premium spikes in 2018. Reinsurance works by…

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Minnesota Business Property Taxes Per Capita, Employee

Minnesota business property taxes really aren’t that high, based on analysis of information from the annual business tax report prepared by Ernst & Young (EY). As described in the preceding article in this series, Minnesota’s business effective property tax rate is below national and regional averages and less than in most other states. An analysis…

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Minnesota Business Property Taxes Below Average

A common mantra among conservatives is that Minnesota business property taxes are high relative to other states—a view promulgated by Minnesota’s business lobby and interest groups. Analysis of data from impartial sources, however, suggests that the opposite might be true. The most commonly cited claim that Minnesota business property taxes are among the highest in…

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Minnesota’s Impending Crisis: Dangerous New Opioids

Opioid deaths in Minnesota, Heroin deaths

Over the last few years, Minnesota policymakers and medical providers ramped up the pressure to slow down the rate of overdoses and deaths caused by opioids. When you compare Minnesota to other states in the Upper Midwest, it is fairly similar in age-adjusted opioid and overall overdose death rates; despite having a relatively low mortality…

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A Closer Look at Badger Boasts

Lofty claims about the performance of the Wisconsin economy occasionally drift across the Saint Croix River, attempting to highlight the success of conservative fiscal and anti-union policies in the Badger State. These claims, however, are woefully incomplete, and at times border on the fraudulent. Since the Great Recession, Wisconsin’s economic performance has been mediocre at…

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Minnesota’s Shrinking Cigarette Tax

The price of most items that consumers purchase increases over time due to inflation. This year, however, the impact of inflation was removed as it applies to the tax on one of the most deadly over-the-counter products that Minnesotans can buy: cigarettes. The repeal of the annual inflation adjustment to Minnesota’s cigarette tax effectively freezes…

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Tax Regressivity in Minnesota vs. Other States

Minnesota policymakers of all political persuasions have touted the importance of reducing tax regressivity—in other words, reducing the extent to which taxes as a percent of income are borne disproportionately by low- and middle-income households. Thus, it should come as good news that Minnesota has the seventh least regressive tax system in the nation, despite…

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