Economy

City Spending Drops Significantly Since 2000

Some conservatives like to complain about growth in city spending. In reality, spending by Minnesota cities has fallen significantly since the beginning of the century, after properly adjusting for inflation and population growth. The vast majority of this reduction has been in cuts to capital spending, which includes funding for city infrastructure. The Office of…

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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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Holy Biomass, Batman!

Have you ever wondered where your garbage goes when it gets picked up from the curb? It might return to your home through the powerlines. Minnesotans burn wood chips, livestock waste, garbage, landfill gas, and more for electricity and heat. This diverse industry impacts every corner of the state in some shape or form—and controversy…

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Our Top Takeaways from the 2018 Minnesota Legislative Session

The Minnesota House and Senate adjourned late Sunday night, and brought the 2018 legislative session to a close. With Governor Mark Dayton likely to follow through on threats to veto key pieces of legislation, the complete book on the session is still being written.   Here are quick takes from North Star’s three policy experts…

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Minnesota’s Love Affair with Ethanol

Remember the last time you filled up your car at the pump. Did you notice the signage about ethanol? Even if you didn’t, you added to a segment of the Minnesota economy worth over $5 billion, and supported over 12,000 Minnesota jobs in the industry. That ethanol in your gas tank will also contribute less…

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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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