Archive for April 2016

Mid-Week Reads: Corporate Welfare and Sleep-Deprived Workers

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 The Real Welfare Cheats According to a new Oxfam report, governments around the world lose $100 billion every year because multinational corporations hide profits in overseas tax havens. Corporate income…

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Business Property Taxes Not as High as We’re Led to Believe

A recent publication from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce contains a list of claims regarding the level of business property taxes in Minnesota relative to other states: 49th “worst” (i.e., second highest) among the fifty states for rural commercial property taxes, 45th worst for metro commercial property taxes, and 40th worst for industrial property taxes.…

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A Comparative View of 2016 State Broadband Plans

This year, the Minnesota legislature is paying a lot of attention to broadband for its benefits in economic and social development. After Minnesota failed to reach its initial broadband goals, it becomes apparent that Minnesota needs to increase its investment in our telecommunication infrastructure. The House and Senate have different approaches on funding broadband infrastructure…

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Who Pays the “Fair Tax”?

The term “fair tax” refers to proposals to repeal individual and corporate income taxes and several other taxes and replace them with a broad-based sales tax. How will this tax impact taxpayers of differing incomes? As it turns out, the answer depends on how the fair tax is structured. The following analysis will provide a…

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Mid-Week Reads: On Government and Target

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 Things are Getting Better, Slowly, Because of Government This article is a summary of a recent Twin Cities talk given by Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker. Hacker’s premise is nicely…

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State Business Property Tax by Legislative District

The 2015 House Tax Bill proposed to phase-out the state business property tax, ultimately eliminating the tax by 2022. A recent North Star article revealed that approximately two-thirds of the property tax relief resulting from the elimination of the state business property taxes will go to businesses in the seven-county metropolitan area, with the remaining…

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Senate Targets Divide Surplus Between Tax Cuts & Spending

At a Wednesday press conference, Senate DFL leadership unveiled their budget targets for the 2016 legislative session, which “includes $300 million for an updated version of last session’s tax bill and $489 million in other spending, much of it one-time.” The proposed budget also leaves $111 million on the bottom line, unspent. The spending items…

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City LGA: A Shrinking Slice of the Budget Pie

Local Government Aid (LGA) has been a mainstay of city finances since its inception in 1972. In fact, many small, low tax base communities receive more in LGA than they collect in property taxes. That being the case, LGA is a perennial hot topic at the state capitol. A recent North Star article demonstrated that…

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Mid-Week Reads: Libertarianism and Carli Lloyd

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 Libertarianism’s Iron Cage: From Ayn Rand to Rand Paul This article is the best exposition of libertarianism that I’ve ever read, tracing its intellectual origins and current popularity in conservative…

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Equal Pay Day and Student Loans

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day when women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. In other words, it takes a woman from January 1, 2015 to April 12, 2016 to earn the same as a man earns in 2015. Women, in 2016, make just 79 cents on the dollar compared…

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