Archive for March 2017

Sharp Jump in Homeowner Property Taxes

Property taxes paid as a percent of income have declined for the typical Minnesota homeowner since 2007, according to the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence (MCFE), formerly the Minnesota Taxpayers Association. As noted in the previous article in this series, however, this conclusion is not necessarily warranted by the data. Furthermore, if we look at…

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AHCA: Huge Increase in State Costs

In the February 2017 forecast, Minnesota Management & Budget and the State Council of Economic Advisors warned of potential downside risk to the state budget resulting from changes in federal policy. Earlier this month, one of these threats came into sharper focus, as conservatives in Washington unveiled the American Health Care Act (AHCA). According to…

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Homeowner Tax Rates Aren’t Necessarily Falling

Local elected officials have argued that property tax increases—including homestead tax increases—combined with declining real per capita local government revenue have fueled the need for an increase in state property tax aids and credits. But not so fast, says the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence (MCFE), formerly the Minnesota Taxpayers Association. The first installment in…

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“Giving Back” What You Don’t Have

The tax cut plan released by Senate conservatives last week is still short on details, but here is some of what we do know: it will cut taxes by $900 million, presumably over the course of the upcoming FY 2018-19 biennium. The key elements of the proposal include a phase-out of taxes on Social Security…

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Aids & Credits Down, Property Taxes Up

Homeowners’ property tax effort is feeble and property tax aids and credits provided by the state of Minnesota are adequate—if not robust—according to a recent article from the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence (MCFE), formerly the Minnesota Taxpayers Association. This conclusion, however, is based on property tax and state aid information that is selectively presented…

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School Vouchers are the Wrong Choice

Many in the conservative movement advocate for “school choice”: aka educational reform in the way of school vouchers, but there are waves and waves of research that suggest private school vouchers harm students who receive them. But first: What are school vouchers? The concept originated with Milton Friedman, and is essentially a strategy to privatize…

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State Business Property Tax: Flat Levy, Declining Rates

As a whole, the property tax changes enacted in 2001—including the state business property tax—have worked out well for Minnesota businesses, as noted in part 1 of this series. In addition, the cost of eliminating or drastically reducing the state business property tax might not just spend down a surplus, but inflate a deficit, as…

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Are Large Cuts to the State Business Levy Affordable?

The series of tax changes enacted in 2001—which included the creation of a general state business property tax—have worked out well for businesses. The previous article in this series showed that if the changes that most directly pertain to businesses had never been enacted, statewide business property taxes would be 11.5 percent higher today, holding…

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