Fiscal Focus

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


November 04, 2021

September / October 2021

Special Report on Tax Reliability: The State of Minnesota’s “Big Three”

An important and often underappreciated tax policy issue is reliability -- a tax system’s ability to support expenditure programs over the long run and provide dependable streams of revenue even as the characteristics and nature of the underlying economy evolves and varies with the business cycle.  Diversity in the tax system, like an investment portfolio, supports such an objective.  But it also requires a closer look at the structure of specific taxes because “how” these taxes are collected in a state can have significant impacts on their growth trends and variability in collections.  We take a closer look at our “big three” by providing some current relevant statistics pertaining to each tax, structural considerations impacting revenue collections, and some relevant policy issues going forward.

August 16, 2021

July / August 2021

State Union Contracts: What the Negotiations Tell Us

Tentative agreements have been reached, but union criticism during the negotiations of “egregious anti-union,” “union-busting” bargaining positions arising out of a DFL administration points to growing stresses in state human capital management and the need for system reform.

Minnesota Results for the 50-State Property Tax Comparison Study for Taxes Payable in 2020

Our annual look at how Minnesota compares nationally on effective property tax rates, tax burdens, and property tax competitiveness.

July 12, 2021

May / June 2021

Session Wrap

A look at the tax and fiscal aftermath of the 2021 Special Session and why a “miscellaneous” provision deep in the tax bill may eventually turn out to be the most influential long-term tax policy action arising out of this strange year.

Income Taxes, the TCJA, and Taxpayer Migration

We take a closer look at the influence of the SALT cap on effective tax rates, what the new IRS Statistics of Income releases are communicating about Minnesota taxpayer migration, and offer some thoughts on the implications for Minnesota’s income tax debates.