Archive for June 2018

A Tale of Two Wind Farms

On Thursday, June 28 at 6:00 pm, Minnesotans will attend two simultaneous public hearings on proposed wind energy projects in the Southwest Minnesota communities of Canby and Hendricks. The scheduling of two wind farm hearings at the exact same date and time, just 20 miles apart, speaks to the tremendous wind energy growth that is…

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No Significant Net Migration from Minnesota

In recent years, Minnesota conservatives have fretted over the net loss of population to other states. As with nearly every problem the state confronts, the culprit—according to conservatives—is Minnesota’s progressive tax and fiscal policy. The problem with this theory is that it does not jibe with the facts—especially the most recent information from the Internal…

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Myths of the 2017 Federal Tax Act

The “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA)—the massive federal tax cut passed in December 2017—has failed to produce the benefits touted by its promoters. And if history is any indicator, there is no reason to believe things will change in the future. The following debunks several often-touted claims made by TCJA backers. Myth #1: The…

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Catching the Wind: New report examines the impact of local vs. non-local hiring practices on construction of Minnesota wind farms

A new report published by North Star Policy Institute finds that hundreds of new family-supporting jobs and tens of millions of dollars in economic activity are at stake for Southern Minnesota communities based on imminent hiring decisions by wind energy companies and whether new projects are built by local or non-local workers. Minnesota’s wind energy economy…

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State Aid Decline Coincides with City Property Tax Increases

Some state elected officials regularly express angst about the growth in city property taxes, blaming local elected officials for this trend. However, this is a case of misplaced attribution. True, city property taxes have increased since 2000. However, the primary culprit behind property tax hikes are reductions in other city revenues—most notably, state aid. The…

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City Spending Drops Significantly Since 2000

Some conservatives like to complain about growth in city spending. In reality, spending by Minnesota cities has fallen significantly since the beginning of the century, after properly adjusting for inflation and population growth. The vast majority of this reduction has been in cuts to capital spending, which includes funding for city infrastructure. The Office of…

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Minnesota Job Growth Is Strong, Considering Its Low Unemployment

Minnesota job growth has been fairly healthy in recent years, relative to the rest of the nation and neighboring states. Last month, a North Star article showed that Minnesota has surpassed the national average on multiple economic indicators—including job growth—during the current business cycle (i.e., since 2007). A recent Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report also…

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Tax Conformity Impasse Was Only Partially About Conformity

In the recently concluded legislative session, lawmakers failed to agree on how to conform Minnesota’s tax code to the new federal tax law passed late last year. The Governor and conservative leadership agreed on most of the mechanics of federal tax conformity, with some significant exceptions. Where they did not agree was on how to…

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