Taxes

Minnesota Business Tax Rate Equals U.S. Average

Business groups—including the Minnesota Business Partnership and Minnesota Chamber of Commerce—actively cultivate the notion that business taxes in the Gopher State are high relative to the rest of the nation. However, total state and local business taxes as a share of business activity in Minnesota are typical of other states and equal to the national…

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Gas Tax Buys One-Third Less Today Than in 2000

The single largest source of funding for Minnesota’s transportation system comes from the state gas tax. However, the purchasing power of that tax has dropped by over one-third over the course of the century, leaving funding for state roads and bridges in a precarious fiscal situation. While the majority of states have increased their gas…

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State Aids: The Shrinking Slice of the City Revenue Pie

City property taxes have increased significantly in recent decades. Even after adjusting for inflation and population growth, the property taxes collected by Minnesota cities have increased by 48% from 1990 to 2018. However, real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per capita city revenues are down over the same period. The rapid growth in property taxes and the decline…

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Government Growth in Context

Shocking claims of growth in government abound. However, viewed in context of the economic, demographic, and societal changes that have occurred over the last fifty years, the growth in government is far less astounding than the sound-bite statistics indicate. For example, the charge of 5,000% growth in state government is based on the change in…

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Misplaced Faith in Tax Cuts

Whatever the problem, a tax cut will fix it. And under no circumstances ever increase taxes. So goes the conventional conservative mantra. New research from two Oklahoma State University economists (Rickman and Wang, 2018) finds that reality is far more nuanced than this rigid perspective suggests. Tax cuts can promote economic growth—or they can harm…

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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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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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