Fiscal Focus

Fiscal Focus is our bimonthly publication providing news, analysis, and commentary on tax and spending topics in the headlines.

July 27, 2016

July / August 2016

The Reasons Behind Minnesota’s National Property Tax Rankings

Our enhanced 50-State Property Tax Comparison Study now offers new perspective on and understanding about what drives Minnesota’s effective property tax rates and rankings

Pension Politics in 2017 Just Got A Lot More Interesting

Another year of poor investment returns relative to expectations + defined contribution plans' greatest disadvantage infecting defined benefit plans = complicated and controversial pension politics in 2017.

Save the Date: MCFE 90th Annual Meeting and Policy Forum, October 5

We look at the state of state tax administration, health care and the state budget, and more

June 07, 2016

May / June 2016

Session Breaks Bad, Better Call Saul

 Our recap of a messy, confusing, and frustrating 2016 legislative session requires words of wisdom from a great negotiator and problem solver.

Underfunded Pensions and Underfunded Infrastructure:  A Match Made in Heaven?

Direct public pension fund investment in public infrastructure is gaining traction but requires a fundamental rethinking of how we conceptualize and manage public assets.

From the Director: Two Transparency Initiatives We Really Need

Greater process transparency may be welcome but the key to good government is greater transparency with respect to policy substance.   Two efforts in this regard are long overdue.

March 15, 2016

March / April 2016

2016 Session "Everything Just Got a Little Harder"

A shrinking surplus, tax and transportation gridlock, and a new – if slightly disingenuous – reason for increasing public pension contributions provides some of the context for the highly-compressed 2016 legislative session.

Funding a Bridge Over Troubled Waters

The alleged growing impotence of the gas tax is exaggerated, and alternative user fees may help at some point in the future.  But the real
key to transportation funding adequacy and sustainability likely demands a return to an old fashioned public finance ideal.

A Perspective on the "Local Price of All Government" in Minnesota

A look at government’s “all in” fiscal footprint – local, state, and federal – at the county level.

From the Director: The State Tax Research Institute Arrives with a Splash