Taxes

The Federal Tax Act’s Minnesota Impact: Steeply Regressive

Corporate elites and wealthy Americans celebrated when Congressional conservatives and President Trump rolled out the so-called “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA) late last year—and with good reason. The TCJA was overwhelmingly regressive, sending a disproportionate share of tax relief to high-income households that have benefited from rising income inequality for decades. Analysis confirms this…

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Minnesota’s Only Frozen Tax: The State Business Property Tax

State and local taxes in Minnesota typically grow over time in response to increased consumption and rising economic activity, and to keep pace with the growing demand for public services. There is one notable exception to this rule: the currently frozen state business property tax. Because this tax is frozen, the cost of government shifts…

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Generating State Revenue Through Corporate Tax Conformity

The so-called “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” (TCJA) enacted by Congress last year made massive changes to the federal tax code. Minnesota and other states must now decide if and how to conform their own tax codes to the federal changes. As we note in part 1 of this series, the qualified pass-through income tax…

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Federal Tax Act Pass-Through Provision: What a Mess!

Tax laws should be simple and direct. Taxpayers should be able to understand and comply with them without the assistance of an army of attorneys and accountants. The treatment of pass-through income in the new federal tax law passed late last year—the so-called “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” (TCJA)—fails miserably by this standard. Specifically, the…

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2018 Local Government Aid Funding in Perspective

Local Government Aid (LGA) has long been an important source of funding for city services and property tax relief. A 2018 LGA funding hike provided valuable new resources to cities, but not quite enough to keep pace with inflation and population growth from 2017 to 2018. Today total real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per capita (per person)…

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Growth in Homestead Share of School Property Taxes

School property taxes fell significantly from 2001 to 2002.* But that relief eroded over time, as noted in part 1 of this series; homeowners have been particularly hard hit. The growth in homeowners’ share of the school property tax bill is not the result of real school spending increases, but the nuances of Minnesota’s property…

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School Property Taxes Since Elimination of the State General Education Levy

In 2001 state policymakers eliminated the uniform statewide general education levy and reduced other school property taxes.* The next year, school property taxes fell dramatically. Beginning in 2003, however, statewide school property taxes gradually increased to fill the gap—and nullified the 2002 school tax relief efforts. Today statewide school property taxes are as high as…

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2018 February Forecast: Small Change from November

The 2018 February Budget and Economic Forecast released by Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) today projects a $329 million surplus in the current fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 biennium, a slight reversal from the small deficit anticipated in the November 2017 forecast. However, after adjusting for the effects of inflation—which are largely omitted from the official…

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State Revenues: the Real Story

Minnesota conservatives argue that the state general fund grows bigger and bigger, year in and year out. After adjusting for inflation, however, per capita general fund revenue in Minnesota falls short of levels seen at the beginning of the current century. While the 2013 tax increases have buoyed real per capita general fund revenues, they…

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Enjoy Your Penny While You Can, Homer

A recent blog post from the Center for the American Experiment (CAE)—Minnesota’s right wing think tank—features an overjoyed Homer Simpson. Homer apparently celebrates the “bonuses and pay hikes” that Minnesota workers are supposedly receiving through recent federal tax cuts. Only Homer—a slow-witted sap that can be duped into any harebrained scheme by a bag of…

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