Fiscal Focus

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

October 30, 2013

September/October 2013

To Subsidize or Not to Subsidize
Are business tax incentives and targeted subsidies good policy?  Distinguished government and business representatives examined the issues at our 87th Annual Meeting of Members.

MCFE 2013 "Accountability Index"
Our annual journey to the political fantasyland of pink unicorns, fairy princesses, and a uniform system of market value based property taxation.

Do High Quality Teachers Make A Difference?
Two new National Bureau of Economic Research working papers examine the hot button issue of measuring and assessing the impact of high quality teachers.

Our Non-Identical Twin
Minnesota and Texas, two states with seemingly nothing in common, are side by side in a recent ranking of the nation's top ten business climates.  Their different paths to success create different vulnerabilities.

August 12, 2013

July/August 2013

The Tax Lessons in the 2013 Tax Bill
Besides feeding everyone's spin cycle, a Department of Revenue white paper examining the impact our new tax laws will have on state tax incidence provides some instructive and important lessons on what state tax policy is simply unable to do well.

The Case of the Mysterious Municipal Downgrades
A recent spate of municipal credit downgrades in Minnesota prompts a lot more questions than answers.

MCFE Annual Meeting to Examine Business Tax Incentives
Mark Wednesday, October 2 on your calendar as out 87th Annual Meeting policy session examines the intersection of good tax policy; the push for conditional tax breaks based on private sector behaviors, promises, and outcomes; and today's economic development realities.

June 13, 2013

May/June, 2013

Going Big and Going Home
With a revenue and spending package of stunning ambition, new DFL majorities in both houses of the legislature teamed up with the governor to erase all vestiges of the budget-balancing turmoil of sessions past.  A look at the prospects for state tax rankings, future budgets, and Minnesota's economy.

Third Time is Not a Charm
Once again the state has embarked on another major attempt to buy down local property taxes.  A closer look at two previous attempts, the "Minnesota Miracle" and the "Big Plan", offers insights into the problems with these efforts and what happens next.

The Progressives' Tax Policy Paradox
Sooner rather than later, Minnesota's progressives will have to recognize that to achieve their vision for Minnesota, some regressive forms of taxation will need to be considered an ally, not an enemy.