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Archive Hosted by the AFL-CIO

Fiscal Policy Archive

Is Simple Tax Reform Possible?
By Jeff Van Wychen October 14, 2013

Last summer, U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus and U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp began touring the nation—including a…

2013 Legislature Enacts Major Reforms to LGA
By Jeff Van Wychen October 07, 2013

After a decade of eroding aid to cities and rising property taxes, in 2013 state policymakers made significant city Local Government Aid (LGA) reforms.…

Map: How Much Funding is Your City Receiving?
By Jeff Van Wychen September 30, 2013

Before the governor and legislature could bring property tax relief to Minnesotans, all of the major players—many with competing interests—had to compromise on how…

2013 Tax Act Restores Badly Needed Local Funding
By Jeff Van Wychen September 23, 2013

Among the accomplishments of the 2013 legislature is a reformed city Local Government Aid (LGA) formula that distributes property tax relief to communities across…

The Sky Isn’t Falling, but the Price of Government Is
By Jeff Van Wychen September 16, 2013

For the last four months, we have been hearing a continuous stream of angst from conservative politicians and pundits about how the tax increases…

VIDEO: Policy Hurdles Behind Tree Stump Clean Up
By Briana Johnson September 12, 2013

This week, crews finally muscled out scores of tree stumps late June's severe storms left behind. Why did it take so long to clean up…

New Reports Underscore Growing Wage and Income Disparities
By Jeff Van Wychen September 09, 2013

Two recent reports—the first from the Minnesota Budget Project and the second from Growth & Justice—underscore different aspects of the same distressing economic trend:…

MN Spending Decline Among Nation’s Biggest
By Jeff Van Wychen September 03, 2013

State and local government per capita spending in Minnesota has declined by over seven percent since the beginning of the century through 2011 after…

“No New Tax” Redux
By Jeff Van Wychen August 28, 2013

Remember the rigid “no-new-tax” policies of the Pawlenty administration, which brought us regular budget deficits and significant cuts to critical public services? Those are…

Scott Honour: Pining for the Past
By Jeff Van Wychen August 26, 2013

In the August 10 Saint Paul Pioneer Press commentary, conservative candidate Scott Honour presented his case as to why he should be the next…

Let’s Say it Again, Property Taxes Going Down
By Jeff Van Wychen August 19, 2013

Mayors of Minnesota's two largest cities sung the praises of new property tax relief recently enacted by progressive lawmakers. The proposed 2014 Minneapolis budget…

Non-partisan Research Projects Property Tax Decline
By Jeff Van Wychen August 12, 2013

Statewide property taxes payable in 2014 are expected to decline by $181 million or 2.1 percent relative to what they would have been in…

2013 Budget Replaces Small Portion of Past Cuts
By Jeff Van Wychen August 05, 2013

A decade of conservative fiscal dominance drained so much money from Minnesota's state general fund that recently enacted legislative investments only replace a small…

Despite Regressivity, Tobacco Tax Increase was Good Policy
By Jeff Van Wychen July 29, 2013

In an article published last week, Minnesota 2020 revealed the error in a conservative claim made in a Rochester Post Bulletin commentary that “each…

Flawed Conservative Tax Incidence Analysis
By Jeff Van Wychen July 22, 2013

A conservative state legislator recently declared in a Rochester Post Bulletin commentary that “each and every Minnesotan is going to lose more of their…

Laughable Half-Truths, Blatant Conservative Contradictions
By Jeff Van Wychen July 16, 2013

In advertising—and occasionally in politics—claims of dubious merit are often dressed up with superlatives to dupe the audience into believing evidence supporting a claim…

Conservatives Provide Chance to Correct Poor Policy
By Jeff Van Wychen July 08, 2013

When conservatives eliminated a popular property tax relief program, know as the homestead credit, during the 2011 special legislative session, progressives were not happy.…

Targeted, Powerful Property Tax Relief
By Jeff Van Wychen July 01, 2013

The state's newest tax laws will bring serious property tax relief to middle-class Minnesota homeowners hard hit by conservative austerity. This continues our series…

Homestead Credit: Old Versus New
By Jeff Van Wychen June 24, 2013

During the 2011 special legislative session, Minnesota conservatives insisted on and—after a 20 day state government shutdown—succeeded in eliminating the homestead credit. The property…

A Balance Between Property Tax Relief and Public Investment
By Jeff Van Wychen June 19, 2013

Minnesota conservatives are complaining about the property tax provisions of the 2013 omnibus tax act, asserting in an e-mail that too much of the property…

New Tax Act Provides Direct Property Tax Relief
By Jeff Van Wychen June 12, 2013

Minnesota conservatives sent out a recent e-mail complaining about the LGA and property tax relief in the newly passed 2013 omnibus tax act (House…

Ending the Taxing More, Spending Less Paradox
By Jeff Van Wychen June 10, 2013

Over the last ten years, Minnesota counties, cities, towns, and school districts have increased property taxes considerably. Over the same period, they have also…

The New FY 2014-15 Budget: A Balanced Approach
By Jeff Van Wychen June 03, 2013

For the foreseeable future (at least through the 2014 election), political dialogue in Minnesota is likely to be focused on the tax and spending…

Looking Ahead: Fiscal Reforms Left Undone
By Jeff Van Wychen May 22, 2013

Yesterday’s Minnesota 2020 article noted the significant progress made during the 2013 legislative session in enhancing revenue adequacy, budget stability, and tax fairness in…

2013 Tax Bill: Progress on Revenue, Tax Fairness
By Jeff Van Wychen May 21, 2013

Yesterday—after nearly five months of proposing, debating, deliberating, and compromising—the House and Senate passed the 2013 omnibus tax bill. While certainly not perfect, the…

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