Our Work


  • April 6, 2016

Mid-Week Reads: Campaign Funding and Climate Change

Every week, North Star will take some time out of our schedules to bring you our favorite reads from the past week. Jeff Van Wychen Fair Campaign Funding The editors of America Magazine bemoan the unrestricted political spending that has flooded into political campaigns and argue that the U.S. constitution should be amended to overturn […]

  • April 5, 2016

Minnesota to Tackle Rising Water Quality Concerns

Water contamination in Flint, Michigan has sparked a growing concern about water quality and water infrastructure across the country. The conversations around water quality issues have become more prominent in Minnesota as Governor Mark Dayton has recently convened the state’s first Water Summit, raising awareness and opening dialogues around Minnesota water supply challenges. While Minnesota […]

  • April 4, 2016

Minnesota in the Middle on Middle-Income Taxes

In conservative quarters, it is accepted as gospel truth that Minnesota is a high tax state. However, to some extent Minnesota’s high tax reputation is undeserved. While state and local taxes on high income households in Minnesota are above average, taxes paid by Minnesota middle income households are about equal to the national norm. The […]

  • April 1, 2016

Working Family Credit Works

Conservatives and progressives don’t agree on much—especially in the area of tax policy. However, one program that draws support from both ends of the political spectrum is Minnesota’s Working Family Credit. This tax credit helps families across the state meet basic needs while also encouraging work. At the same time, the credit helps to reduce […]

  • March 30, 2016

Is Minnesota Keeping Up with Its Neighbors?

Conservative groups are spinning a narrative that Minnesota’s economy has been slipping due to the tax increases enacted in 2013. The centerpiece of the 2013 tax act was a 2.0 percent income tax rate increase targeted to the state’s highest income households. The new revenue generated from the 2013 tax act helped to balance the […]

  • March 30, 2016

Mid-Week Reads

Every week, North Star will take some time out of our schedules to bring you our favorite reads from the past week. Jeff Van Wychen Look to the Insects. This article critiques a new book by American biologist David Sloan Wilson entitled, Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others. This book examines the […]

  • March 25, 2016

2015 Tax Proposals Comparison

North Star Policy Institute recently published an article asking the question, “What if the 2015 tax proposals from the Minnesota legislature had been enacted?” This post includes a one-page summary of the findings from that article. 2015 Minnesota Tax Proposal Comparison

  • March 25, 2016

Testimony on CAE Income Migration Report

The following is an excerpt from the testimony of North Star’s Tax & Fiscal Policy fellow, Jeff Van Wychen, regarding the Center for the American Experiment’s recent report alleging massive income migration as a result of Minnesota’s tax climate. The testimony was given on March 24 before the Minnesota House Tax Committee. For a more […]

  • March 23, 2016

State Property Tax: A Good Deal for Businesses

Since 2002, property taxes on Minnesota businesses have been growing less rapidly than taxes on most other classes of property. As with all things pertaining to the property tax system, the explanation for this trend is varied and complicated. However, the state business property tax is one of the principal reasons why Minnesota business property […]

  • March 22, 2016

Minnesota to Expand Its Broadband Grant Program

Broadband Internet access has been one of the main policy discussions in Minnesota for the past few years. Governor Dayton’s Broadband Task Force has recommended the state use public dollars to jumpstart broadband infrastructure investment. For FY2016-2017, Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith propose a $100 million in their supplemental budget for this issue, while […]