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Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes and One Shrimp Farm?

Minnesota has lots of water, but all of it is fresh. Shrimp live in salt water, of which Minnesota has none. So the state has never been associated with shrimp, or shrimp production. Until now. As Tom Steward noted a couple of weeks ago, legislation is wending its way through Minnesota's House and Senate that would subsidize shrimp production facilities in the state. The subsidy would be 69 cents per pound of shrimp; in addition, shrimp production facilities would be exempt from sales and use taxes. It's no secret what is going on: a businessman near Marshall wants to grow shrimp,...

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Minnesota Ranks In the Top Five!

In taxes, that is. That's right: Minnesota is one of the five highest-tax states in the country. This ad is playing on radio stations around the state, in anticipation of Tax Day: . [audio mp3="https://2lffqo2moysixpyb349z0bj6-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/High-Taxes_mixdown.mp3"][/audio] . It is great to rank near the top, but not when it comes to taxes. Minnesotans are overtaxed, and that is one reason why the state's economic performance has been mediocre and trending downward during the current century....

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Understanding the New Tax Plan America Needs

Respected economist Lawrence Lindsey has written a piece in the Weekly Standard that explains why the House Republican tax plan “is exactly targeted at the economic ills that afflict our country.”  First he establishes that the American economy really is sick: “From 2011-2016 we observed the poorest economic expansion on record.” “Barak Obama was the first president without a year of 3 percent real GDP growth while in office.” “[F]rom 2011-2016, annual growth averaged more than a full point less than growth from 1965-2010, a period that includes drag from multiple recessions.” “[G]rowth in real personal incomes and wages lagged behind the long-term historic...

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Why Are Minnesotans So Overtaxed?

This map, produced by the Tax Foundation, shows the top individual income tax rate for each state. You will note that Minnesota is essentially tied with Oregon for the third-highest rate, at 9.85%. Click to enlarge: Why are Minnesota's income taxes so high? It isn't as though we are getting a break on other taxes. We have a high sales tax (which does, of course, exempt food and clothing), high property taxes and a high corporate income tax. Why can't Minnesota's government get along on a reasonable budget like nearly every other state? When anyone proposes cutting taxes in Minnesota, liberals generally...

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Refugee data: That’s not Minnesota Nice

We cannot tell you with any certainty what the refugee resettlement program costs but what we can tell you is that the benefit side of that cost-benefit analysis is in doubt. And we can say with certainty with regard to work, and how welfare dependency affects long-term prospects for integration and work, culture matters. Culture is everything. ...

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The Unintended Consequences of MN’s High Cigarette Taxes

The law of the unintended but absolutely predictable consequences of government action has struck again on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. Washington County authorities have charged two Illinois men with smuggling cigarettes into the state in a case scheduled to go to court this week. Mohammad Abdul Majid and Iman Ugurlu, both of Illinois, were charged last month with felony-level aiding and abetting in the sale of untaxed tobacco and another felony count of aggravated forgery for allegedly transporting more than $78,000 in cigarettes from Wisconsin to Minnesota. They were charged in Washington County District Court via warrant Feb. 9. They are scheduled to...

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Business Calls for More Immigrants: At What Cost to Taxpayers?

We are hearing the call for more immigration every day in Minnesota as employers struggle to find good employees around the state. And it’s more like an alarm since the President called a “time out” on refugees and immigrants, and signaled a desire to re-work trade agreements. What is the business community doing to insure that this immigration is a long term success for the state, not a just a short term fix? ...

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Government, Not Wall Street, Caused Financial Crisis

The Trump administration is right to call the Dodd-Frank legislation passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis a “massive government overreach.”  As critical repair efforts begin in Washington, it is important to realize that the crisis was not caused by greed, Wall Street risk-taking, and lack of private sector regulation, as is the dominant narrative advanced by the Democrats and the media. Instead, the crisis was set up by well-intentioned but reckless government housing policies going back to the 1990s, and the crash was triggered by blunders of historic proportions by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve.  The...

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Coming Soon: Sunday Liquor Sales?

Margarita Monday, Tequila Tuesday, Wine Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Franzia Friday, Smirnoff Saturday… Minnesotans may soon be able to add, say, Sangria Sunday to the list. Sunday liquor sales have been banned in the state for more than 80 years, but a vote by the Minnesota House on Monday could repeal the “blue law.” While this is not the first attempt to uncork the historic ban, there is growing confidence among legislators, on both sides of the aisle, that the state is ready for the change. An article published last month by the Pioneer Press and a more recent one from yesterday confirm consumers and retailers...

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New report pinpoints several aspects of state tax code that challenge Minnesota’s competitiveness

This week the Tax Foundation, in collaboration with the Minnesota Business Partnership, released Minnesota Illustrated: A Visual Guide to Taxes & the Economy.  The guide provides a chart book that illustrates how Minnesota’s economy and tax system compare to the rest of the country, paying particular attention to Midwestern peer states. This is the latest in series of chart books that the Tax Foundation has created for various states.  The primary goal for each book is “to help readers understand [the state’s] overall economy and tax system from a broad perspective.” Regarding Minnesota’s economy, the chart book is the latest in growing...

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