Fiscal Focus

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


December 13, 2016

November / December 2016

2017 Session Preview

A look at the economic and political landscape shaping the forthcoming budget session

Practitioners Corner:  Taxpayers Dancing in the Dark

Guest contributors Chris Martin and Emily Miller of Grant Thornton argue that Minnesota should join the majority of other states in implementing a private letter ruling program to improve transparency and guidance in the application of Minnesota tax law.

Greatest (Research) Hits of 2016

Some new insights from the National Bureau of Economic Research on the relationship between taxes and business investment, work incentives, and inequality.

October 25, 2016

September / October 2016

Evaluating the State of State Tax Administration

Our 2016 tax panel examined the current condition of state tax administration, discussed process and procedural concerns of today’s practitioners, and offered ideas to advance a strong ethic and system of voluntary compliance in Minnesota.

Health Care Finance, Cost Control, and the State Budget: Are We Making Progress?

Our 2016 fiscal policy panel delved into the complicated world of public health care spending and what it takes to achieve fiscal sustainability in this large and high profile part of the state government budget.

An Insurance Market in Crisis

Annual meeting luncheon speaker, Michael Guyette, President and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota exposed the harsh economic realities of the current individual insurance market and presented a call to action to restore the health of this integral part of the health care system.

Lessons From Fully Funded Defined Benefit Pension Plans

What are the keys to having healthy traditional defined benefit plans in this day and age?  As another round of public pension fixes looms in 2017, the answer to that question can come from an unexpected place:  the retirement plans Minnesota public sector unions offer their own employees.

From the Director

New MCFE Director Emeritus recipient Jerry Geis knows.  So should you.

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