Posts by Jeff Van Wychen

The School Aid Backslide: Digging into District-by-District Details

North Star’s new report, Minnesota Backslide: School Aid Cuts on the Horizon, documents the decline in real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per pupil* state operating aid to Minnesota school districts since fiscal year (FY) 2003 and the corresponding increase in school property taxes. While the general impact of the aid loss is similar in most parts of…

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Back to the Future: Declining School Aid in Minnesota

Despite increases in recent years, real per pupil state operating aid to Minnesota school districts has declined overall since fiscal year (FY) 2003. This decline in state aid translated into significant property tax hikes and—in many instances—reduced funding for public education. To compound matters, projections based on current state law indicate a significant decline in…

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Wisconsin Grows Poorer, More Unequal Relative to Minnesota

Minnesota’s median income grew faster than the national average over the past decade, as noted in part 1 of this series. And while Minnesota income inequality has increased, it has increased less rapidly than the national average. Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, median income growth fell short of the U.S. growth rate and income inequality increased at…

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Minnesota vs. U.S. Income Trends Since the Great Recession

When it comes to income trends in Minnesota, we’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that income growth in Minnesota has surpassed the national average over the last decade, both in aggregate and within every income group. The bad news is that income inequality has increased over this period,…

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Minnesota in the Middle on Middle-Income Taxes

Minnesota conservatives work hard to portray Minnesota as a high tax state. In reality, state and local effective tax rates for middle-income families in Minnesota are fairly typical of the rates in other states. In addition, average effective tax rates for lower-income households in Minnesota are below the national average. The state and local effective…

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Minnesota Earns High Marks for Fiscal Responsibility

Last week, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) upgraded Minnesota’s  general obligation (GO) bond rating to “AAA”—its highest ranking. Minnesota became one of only thirteen states to enjoy a AAA GO rating from at least two of the “big three” credit rating agencies (S&P, Fitch, and Moody’s). The improvement in Minnesota’s credit rating not only has the…

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Income Tax Hikes Have Not Stifled Job, Income Growth

Conservatives frequently argue that tax increases stifle job growth. In reality, data from 1950 to the present show no indication that Minnesota income tax increases have had any adverse impact on job creation or income growth. In fact, Minnesota’s rate of job and income growth has tended be greatest following state income tax increases and…

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Minnesota Passes Wisconsin in Total Jobs

Total 2017 employment in Minnesota eclipsed that of Wisconsin for the first time in history,* despite having over 200,000 fewer people. Just ten years ago, Minnesota had 93,000 fewer jobs than Wisconsin. The Gopher State now has 6,200 more jobs, according to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW).† In light of recent trends…

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Poor People Have the Highest Effective Tax Rates

An argument used to undermine programs that provide tax relief for low-income people—such as Minnesota’s Working Family Credit (WFC) and Child & Dependent Care Credit—is that they provide tax relief to households that are not paying taxes in the first place. However, poor people do pay taxes. In fact, as a percent of income, they…

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