Archive for February 2016

The "Real" Story Behind State and Local Government Inflation

When measuring changes over time in income, wages, revenue, spending, or just about anything else that is measured in dollars, amounts are commonly adjusted for the decline in the purchasing power of the dollar due to inflation. Without inflation adjustments, we have no idea of the real purchasing power of the dollars being earned, collected,…

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A Closer Look at the February Forecast

On the surface, today’s release of the February economic forecast was no big deal. Projections of state general fund revenue went down (mainly due to national and global economic trends that state policymakers have no control over), but so too did projected spending. The net result was a $300 million reduction in the size of…

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Conservative Criticisms of the 2013 Tax Act Fall Flat

A recent North Star article touted the success of the 2013 tax act in reducing tax regressivity, providing targeted tax relief, reducing the state and local taxes paid by most middle-income households, funding important public investments, and helping to put the state budget on a sound fiscal footing. However, no retrospective of the 2013 tax act…

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I Sing the Tax Act 2013

Of all the legislation enacted in recent years, few have aroused as much passion as chapter 147 of the 88th legislative session: the 2013 omnibus tax act. Thus, it is fitting that North Star’s inaugural fiscal policy article should focus on this historic law. To some, the 2013 tax act represents confiscatory taxation and excessive…

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Student Loan Borrowers Discuss Debt at St. Paul College

This morning, we kicked off our Minnesota Debt Tour by stopping at St. Paul College to hear from student loan borrowers and legislators about the ongoing student debt crisis. First to speak was Clinton, a St. Paul College senior with a burdensome debt load. Clinton spent one semester at Luther College, where he racked up $18,000…

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