Fiscal Focus

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

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.

April 25, 2013

March/April 2013

Taxation and the Session Homestretch
With all the tax plans now on the table, it's clear anyone who thought one-party control of the legislature and governor's mansion would yield ten minute conference committees on the tax bills was mistaken.

Price Tag of Minnesota Tax Fairness
What is needed to realize the Holy Grail - "Minnesota Tax Fairness" - where everyone "pays their fair share"?  Even with a high quality tax incidence study, determining the answer remains a highly subjective exercise open to interpretation.

MCFE News and Notes
Minnesota's troubled Price of Government, a new economic stability indicator, and MCFE income tax study goes national.

Has Minnesota Nice Become Minnesota Smug?
This disconnect between Minnesota's foundational strengths and private sector actions suggests a little more economic paranoia might be good for us.