Fiscal Focus

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

March 30, 2017

March / April 2017

How Do You Spell "Relief"?

Omnibus tax bills have come together, and a lot of big dogs are chasing what is likely to be a compact car of tax relief

A Senior Moment

Is a tax break specifically for seniors good policy?  A look at the issues and evidence.

Price of Government Declining...Thanks to More Government Spending

The rapid growth and greater influence of government transfer payments is causing Minnesota’s Price of Government to decline making government look cheaper the larger the role it plays in the state economy.

February 14, 2017

January / February 2017

Budgeting in a Sea of Federal Uncertainty

Federal tax and spending reform proposals present a challenging and volatile environment for state budget development. 

“Levyphobia” and the Minnesota Homeowner

The latest edition of the routinely overlooked but indispensable Department of Revenue “Voss Report” shows that the average homeowners’ property tax effort over the last decade is feebler than whatever the state is (or is not) doing.

How Would a Pay Raise Affect Lawmaker Performance and Legislature Diversity?

If academic research findings apply here, any decision to give our lawmakers a raise is best based on recognition of their hard work in the service of Minnesota citizens rather than on an expectation that our legislature would look or perform differently.

Government Budgets, Scarcity and Our Lizard Brains

A neuroscientist explains fiscal irresponsibility

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.