Fiscal Focus

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


October 30, 2020

September / October 2020

Finish Line

Resistance to the continuation of the governor’s emergency powers was a formidable obstacle, but rejecting over $2 billion in economic benefits spread across the state entailed its own political risk.

COVID’s Fiscal Footprint

What is COVID’s impact on state and local finances and family financial security?   A National Tax Association publication offers some analysis as well as perspective on what it may mean for any new round of federal support.

Minnesota’s “Must Do” Sits on a Department of Revenue Bookshelf​

Now is absolutely the time for a long-ignored 2011 report from the Department of Revenue to get some renewed attention.

September 01, 2020

July / August 2020

Is the Fourth Time A Charm? 

Following the 2020 regular session and three special sessions, the state remains in a holding pattern with respect to a tax bill, a bonding bill, and budget repair.   With November elections looming and the clock ticking on the 91st Minnesota Legislature, legislative action – or lack thereof – in the next special session will have a lot to say about the state’s fiscal and political future.

Banking on “A Superior Form of Capitalism”

For over two decades Minnesota public pensions plans’ investments in private equity have delivered the outsized investment returns needed to meet Minnesota’s defined benefit plans’ high return expectations.  In today’s persistent low interest rate environment, the demand for private equity is greater than ever.  But all is not well in Camelot.

June 30, 2020

May / June 2020

About that Budget Deficit

In a chaotic period dominated by COVID response and civil unrest, action on the budget deficit drifted down lawmakers’ to-do list.   A look at the status, environment, and options for budget repair in the next special session.

The Time is Now for Nowcasting

A new economic tracking tool using real time data from the private sector offers insights into what is happening now in the economy, what impact policies are and are not having, and how Minnesota’s economic experience to date differs from the nation as a whole.   

Minnesota Results for the 50-State Property Tax Comparison Study for Taxes Payable in 2019

Minnesota creeps up in national rankings; regional comparisons highlight tradeoff between residential and commercial property in Minnesota’s property tax system.