Fiscal Focus

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

August 11, 2015

July/August 2015

It's All About that Base, 'Bout that Base (and No Trouble)
Guest columnist Chris Martin of PricewaterhouseCoopers examines a Minnesota bill to accomplish prospective or “rolling” federal tax conformity, the rationale for pursuing it, why the issue has special relevance for 2016, and why another special session may be in our future.

Is Minnesota As Fiscally Healthy As We Seem To Be?
A new national study ranks Minnesota 31st in state fiscal health. When examining all the dimensions of short term and long term health, Minnesota may have some opportunities for improvement.

Doing the Work of Angels
Seventy-five years ago an effort was launched to make academics and government professionals the protectors and guardians of research about government. Seventy-five years later what’s left of independent, citizen- supported research on government is needed more than ever.

MCFE News and Notes: Annual Meeting and More

June 02, 2015

May / June 2015

The Tax Bill That Wasn’t

No omnibus tax bill this session is a source of consternation and frustration for many. But there is a silver lining.

When You Wish Upon a Star, Taxes Matter

A new research study concludes state taxes affect the location decisions of high-end scientific talent. It also shows Minnesota has a lot at stake – and potentially a lot to lose.

A Math Problem Called Education Finance

The balking and resistance to universal pre-K is symptomatic of a larger issue: the failure of state education aid to keep up with the rising costs of school district collective bargaining agreements.

Minnesota Findings from the 2014 50-State Property Tax Comparison Study

A new MCFE Issue Brief summarizes and highlights key Minnesota-related findings from our national property tax benchmarking study

April 14, 2015

March / April 2015

Taking Inventory of the 2015 Tax Bills

A look at some of the potential fodder comprising forthcoming omnibus tax bills

The Devil’s Dictionary Guide to the End of Session

Some alternative definitions of words you will hear frequently over the next six weeks

This Year in Pensions: Five Things We Learned

Rip roaring investment markets and new pension accounting standards changed a few things on the surface. Underneath, sustainability pursuits continue to be built on a foundation of sand.

 What Public Pensions and Geology Have in Common

When science fails to explain evidence, the science needs to adapt