Posts by Jeff Van Wychen

Minnesota Job Growth Is Strong, Considering Its Low Unemployment

Minnesota job growth has been fairly healthy in recent years, relative to the rest of the nation and neighboring states. Last month, a North Star article showed that Minnesota has surpassed the national average on multiple economic indicators—including job growth—during the current business cycle (i.e., since 2007). A recent Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report also…

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Tax Conformity Impasse Was Only Partially About Conformity

In the recently concluded legislative session, lawmakers failed to agree on how to conform Minnesota’s tax code to the new federal tax law passed late last year. The Governor and conservative leadership agreed on most of the mechanics of federal tax conformity, with some significant exceptions. Where they did not agree was on how to…

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Corporate Tax Cuts Increase Income Inequality

North Star would like to thank Professor Louis Johnston of the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University for critiquing earlier drafts of this article.   Conservatives typically argue that the benefit of corporate tax cuts will trickle down to workers in the form of higher wages. New research published this month indicate that workers do…

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Emergency School Aid Increase in Context

Governor Dayton recently proposed a one-time “emergency aid” increase of $138 million to Minnesota public schools in fiscal year (FY) 2019, in the form of a two percent increase in basic general education formula revenue and selected categorical aid programs. This aid increase would replace a portion of the real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per pupil school…

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So Many Myths, So Little Time

The first installment in this series scratched the surface of the abundant supply of Minnesota economic and fiscal policy myths. This article scratches a little deeper, knocking off three additional myths. Some of these myths are not unique to Minnesota, but all are heard in Gopher State policy debates. And all are false. Myth #1:…

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Debunking Minnesota Economic and Fiscal Policy Myths

Minnesota is a land of 10,000 lakes and almost as many misconceptions about the size of government, growth in public revenue and expenditures, and performance of the state’s economy. Some of these mistaken beliefs are the result of an innocent misreading of the data, while others are the product of deliberate disinformation campaigns. The following…

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Tax Triggers: An Unnecessary Fiscal Autopilot

At least officially, Minnesota’s general fund is projected to have a budget surplus in the current and upcoming bienniums. Conservatives have proposed a “tax trigger” that would automatically reduce state individual and corporate income taxes whenever such a surplus occurs. Such proposals are unnecessary, regressive, fiscally irresponsible, and would skew fiscal policy outcomes away from…

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