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Archive Hosted by the AFL-CIO

Fiscal Policy Archive

Attacks on Estate Tax Fall Flat
By Jeff Van Wychen March 25, 2014

The new tax act signed into law last Friday contained some needed tax policy changes, including federal tax conformity measures that will simplify tax…

Estate Tax is an Important Part of a Fair Tax System
By Jeff Van Wychen March 24, 2014

Last Friday, state policymakers passed into law a new tax act that made important progress in terms of federal tax conformity and repeal of…

Property Taxes Drop for First Time Since 2002
By Jeff Van Wychen March 17, 2014

Statewide property taxes will drop from 2013 to 2014, according to new information from non-partisan Minnesota House staff, heralding the first year-to-year property tax…

Dangers of “Give It Back”—Remember Jesse Checks?
By Jeff Van Wychen March 05, 2014

Conservative leaders want to return the entire $1.233 billion state budget surplus to Minnesotans through a “Give It Back” Act, which—in addition to tax…

Don’t “Give Back” All of the Surplus
By Jeff Van Wychen March 03, 2014

Since last year, when progressives passed a new budget bill that raised taxes on the top two percent to invest in education and other…

Minnesota’s Job Roller Coaster Trending Upward
By Jeff Van Wychen February 24, 2014

The Great Recession created massive job losses throughout the United States, including Minnesota and Wisconsin. However, unlike many other states, Minnesota has recovered all…

Economic Growth Outpaces Tax Increases
By Jeff Van Wychen February 19, 2014

Despite the increase in state revenue anticipated in the November 2013 forecast, Minnesota’s “Price of Government” is projected to decline over the next four…

Balance Future Unallotments with Tax Increases
By Jeff Van Wychen February 10, 2014

Not too many years ago, unallotment was a hot topic as conservative Governor Tim Pawlenty repeatedly slashed state spending without legislative approval as budgets…

Declining Income is Long-Term, Widespread
By Jeff Van Wychen February 03, 2014

In his State of Union address, President Obama noted that one of the most serious problems confronting the nation is growing income inequality. Perhaps…

Minnesota Surpasses Wisconsin in New Business Filings
By Jeff Van Wychen January 27, 2014

Minnesota and Wisconsin are frequently held up for comparison,* given similarities between the two states in terms of geography, climate, economy, and population size…

The Conservative Spin on Public Compensation
By Jeff Van Wychen January 22, 2014

Conservatives frequently beat up on state and local governments—and by implication, public workers—for "lavish"compensation packages, including "excessive" healthcare and other benefits. Some on the…

Stronger Communities, not Centralized Bureaucracy
By Matthew Filner, Guest Commentary January 22, 2014

Editor’s Note: This second article in a two part series aims to make students, citizens, fellow faculty, staff and other stakeholders aware of the…

Even With Surplus and Taxes, Revenue Still Down
By Jeff Van Wychen January 13, 2014

The November forecast contained good news. Even after paying back the school funding shift, state government will have an $825 million surplus. On top…

Minnesota’s Fiscal Future: 2014 & Beyond
By Jeff Van Wychen January 06, 2014

The year just ended was a momentous one. A decade of declining public revenue was reversed , with renewed investment in education, infrastructure, worker…

The County Levy Kerfuffle in Perspective
By Jeff Van Wychen January 02, 2014

A number of state policymakers of both parties are in a snit regarding the possibility of property tax increases. Based on preliminary levy information…

LGA Increase Did What it was Supposed To
By Jeff Van Wychen December 16, 2013

Despite what conservatives say, property tax relief is on the way for thousands of Minnesota homeowners. And for the first time in a decade,…

Minnesota vs. Wisconsin: Who’s Winning the Border Battle?
By Jeff Van Wychen December 09, 2013

In college football, the Wisconsin Badgers have dominated the Golden Gophers throughout recent history, capturing Paul Bunyan’s axe ten consecutive years. It’s good to…

More School Budget Cuts Averted
By Jeff Van Wychen December 02, 2013

Going into the 2013 legislative session, real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per pupil state operating aid to Minnesota school districts were slated for another decline on…

Another Indicator of Growing Income Inequality
By Jeff Van Wychen November 26, 2013

A few weeks ago, I was combing through income data (a common pastime among policy nerds). A recent Minnesota 2020 article explored the decline…

From Campaign Rhetoric to Policy
By Tom Berg, Guest Commentary November 19, 2013

Editor’s Note: During the 1970 campaign, Governor Wendell Anderson ran on a broad Citizen’s League policy paper to reform Minnesota’s tax collection and distribution…

Reversing Two Regressive Decades
By Jeff Van Wychen November 04, 2013

During the 2013 legislative session, state policymakers not only had to replenish depleted state revenues and restore a decade of disinvestments, but do so…

Two Decades of Growing Regressivity
By Jeff Van Wychen October 28, 2013

Over the last twenty years, Minnesota’s total state and local effective tax rate has fallen. However, it has not fallen for everyone. In fact,…

A Trip Down Monetary Lane
By Lee Egerstrom October 23, 2013

It was 40 years ago right about now when the Arab oil producing states imposed an oil embargo against the United States in response…

A State That Works—Again
By Jeff Van Wychen October 23, 2013

In his first inaugural address, Ronald Reagan declared that “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Minnesota was not…

A Look Back at a State That Worked
By Jeff Van Wychen October 21, 2013

August marked the fortieth anniversary of the iconic Time magazine cover with the words “The Good Life in Minnesota” emblazoned across the torso of…

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