Archive for June 2017

Minnesota Businesses Benefit from State & Local Taxes

It is common for businesses to complain about taxes without considering the benefits that they provide. Taxes are not collected and then buried in a hole. They are used to provide education and public safety, protect property rights, and construct and maintain public infrastructure, among other things—all services which benefit businesses. A complete comparison of…

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Business Share of Minnesota Taxes Below US Average

Many believe that Minnesota businesses bear a disproportionate share of the total state and local tax load compared to businesses in other states. This notion is perhaps the result of significant corporate and individual income taxes, the presence of both state and local business property taxes (most states impose only local business property taxes), and…

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Cutting Medicaid Would Devastate Rural Hospitals and Health Centers

MUAs, MUPs, and HPSAs

The American Health Care Act is quietly reentering the political sphere six weeks after it passed the House of Representatives by an incredibly narrow two-vote margin. While details on the Senate version are scarce (authors of the Senate bill will not release it before the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scores it), rumors and leaks indicate…

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Yes, the Minnesota Price of Government Has Declined

A recent article in the Star Tribune has sparked a minor dustup regarding Minnesota’s “Price of Government” (PoG). The article, which focused on the budget legacy of Governor Mark Dayton and featured fiscal comparisons between the Pawlenty and Dayton administrations, significantly overstated the decline in the PoG. This led a conservative think tank to counter…

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Minnesota Needs a Multi-Modal Transportation System

The Center for the American Experiment (CAE) recently published a paper by Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randal O’Tool in which he blames planners at the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for Twin Cities highway congestion. The opinion paper drew comparisons to two other cities, Indianapolis and Kansas City, suggesting that Twin…

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Minnesota Business Tax Rates Below U.S. Average

Minnesota’s business lobby frequently complains that business tax rates in the Gopher State are high. Such claims are often based on nominal tax rates—in other words, the rates that are written into state law; however, nominal rates do not take into account various statutory exclusions that reduce the base against which the rate is applied…

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Minnesota Business Taxes Per Worker Below U.S. Average

Conservatives regularly claim that business taxes in Minnesota are high relative to the rest of the nation, but an examination of fiscal year (FY) 2015 total state and local business taxes per private sector employee in each of the fifty states reveals that Minnesota is actually below the national average. Each year, the Quantitative Economics…

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Minnesota’s Economy Doing Relatively Well

Conservative interest groups contend that Minnesota’s economy is floundering, the victim of “blue state” (i.e., progressive) fiscal policies. Critiques published by North Star and others show such claims are generally bogus and based more on politics than coherent economic analysis. Evidence of Minnesota’s strong economic performance relative to other states can be found in the…

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What One Hand Giveth, the Other Taketh Away

Minnesota counties received some good news and some bad news during the first 2017 special legislative session. The tax bill that was ultimately signed into law included a significant increase in County Program Aid (CPA), as well changes to the CPA formula sought by Minnesota counties. On the other hand, the Health & Human Services…

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Addressing Minnesota’s Food Deserts: More Than a New Grocery Store

Food deserts in the state of Minnesota

The built environment has long been an obstacle in fighting the obesity epidemic, and food deserts specifically have increasingly become a major public health priority for Minnesotans. Food deserts (or food swamps, as a better analogy) are areas with poor access to affordable, healthy food. The term isn’t just a statement on the poor availability…

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