Archive for March 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…

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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…

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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

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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…

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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…

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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…

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2015 Tax Proposals: a “What If” Analysis

The legislature failed to pass an omnibus tax bill during the 2015 legislative session. But what if the Governor’s 2015 tax proposal had been enacted in 2015? Or what if the Senate’s 2015 omnibus tax bill had been enacted? Or the House’s? The analysis below will examine the state general fund budgetary balance under each…

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A Better Way to Reduce Tax Regressivity

According to business lobbyists, one of the benefits of the elimination of the state business property tax is a reduction in Minnesota tax regressivity. In the long run, though, business property tax breaks are an inefficient way to do this, especially in comparison to homeowner tax relief. Minnesota’s state and local tax system is regressive,…

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Governor’s Budget Focused on Fiscal Stability

Governor Mark Dayton released a cautious supplemental budget yesterday, leaving significant unspent resources on the bottom line both in the current FY 2016-17 and the upcoming 2018-19 biennia. While being careful not to break the bank, Dayton does designate a portion of the state surplus to important investments on education and broadband, while at the…

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Minnesota Renewable Energy Goal is On Track

In 2007, the legislature passed a bill, called the Next Generation Energy Act, that aimed not only to reduce electricity use from fossil fuel by 15 percent by 2015, but also to increase electricity from renewable sources to 25 percent by 2025. A recent report

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