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Archive Hosted by the AFL-CIO

Fiscal Policy Archive

Federal Money Won't Solve Long-Term State Budget Woes
By David Greenwood-Sanchez, Policy Research Associate February 11, 2009

President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is welcome news for Minnesota. A recent study by the National Conference of State Legislatures has estimated…

Without Saying It, Governor Concedes Revenue Problem
By Jeff Van Wychen February 04, 2009

The Governor's mantra is, "Minnesota does not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem." However, the Governor's own information contradicts this longstanding…

Federal Dollars Should Create Jobs, Not Plug Budget Potholes
By Lee Egerstrom January 30, 2009

This past week found Minnesota state and local government officials scrambling for ways to use federal economic rescue funds to plug budget shortfalls to…

Minnesota's Revenue Problem
By Jeff Van Wychen January 22, 2009

Minnesota clearly has a revenue problem. Over the last five years, real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per capita state tax revenue has been steadily sliding downward.…

State Unemployment Hits Historic High
By Jeff Van Wychen January 22, 2009

This is perhaps the first time in Minnesota history (with the possible exception of the Great Depression) that the unemployment level has surpassed 200,000.…

LGA: A Local Government Perspective
By Joseph Strauss, Guest Commentary January 19, 2009

Joseph Strauss is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operation Officer of the North Metro Mayors Association   When the administration announced the cuts…

New Fees in the Era of "No New Taxes"
By Jeff Van Wychen January 15, 2009

Download full report  (pdf) View online at Scribd During the era of "no new taxes," Minnesota is primarily addressing rising budget shortfalls by cutting…

Challenging Conservative Conventional Wisdom
By Jeff Van Wychen January 06, 2009

During a budget crisis, raising taxes does less harm than slashing budgets. With a $5.5 billion state budget deficit projected for the 2010-11 budget…

Declining Values and Rising Property Taxes
By Jeff Van Wychen December 29, 2008

Many Minnesota homeowners are a bit befuddled these days. Why, if the value of my house is declining, are my property taxes going up?…

Time to Reconsider Sales Tax Change?
By Jeff Van Wychen October 14, 2008

Part 4 of 4 (read part 3) During the 2001 legislative session, Governor Jesse Ventura proposed a bold initiative: replace the general education property…

Pros & Cons of Sales Tax Change
By Jeff Van Wychen October 13, 2008

Part 3 of 4  (read part 2) The previous installment of this series presented information on the amount of revenue that could be generated…

Running the Numbers on a Sales Tax Change
By Jeff Van Wychen October 10, 2008

Part 2 of 4 (read part 1) In the first part of this series, Minnesota 2020 examined the sales tax base in Minnesota.  While…

Taking the Spin out of Inflation Estimates
By Jeff Van Wychen September 09, 2008

When expressing government revenue and spending in real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) dollars, Minnesota 2020 generally adjusts for inflation using the implicit price deflator of state…

Minnesota's Slip Toward Mediocrity: Less Investment, Less Return
By Jeff Van Wychen June 04, 2008

Download full report  (pdf) View online at Scribd Executive summary Minnesota's national ranking on key performance indicators has declined in recent years at the…

Budget Forecast: Time for New Revenue & Cuts
By Jeff Van Wychen March 03, 2008

Excluding one-time federal recovery dollars, the state's revenue situation went from bad to worse with the release of the February forecast of state revenues…

Right Time for Budget Reality
By Jeff Van Wychen March 03, 2008

Every person, company, school district, county, and city government knows that their costs will change over time. Adjusting state expenditures for inflation provides a…

Sticker Shock: Why Property Taxes are Going Through the Roof in Minnesota
By Jeff Van Wychen February 10, 2008

 Download full report (pdf) View online at Scribd The average property tax on a Minnesota homestead is expected to increase by 71 percent from…

Progressive Taxation: Not so Bad for Business After All
By Jeff Van Wychen January 21, 2008

The facts are in and conservatives have it wrong.  States with progressive tax systems do at least as well as states with more regressive…

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