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County Blinks Over Duluth Tax Assessments

St. Louis County Assessor Dave Sipila and his team went big this year, jacking up the assessed market valuations on scores of mostly commercial properties in Duluth essentially overnight. But his numbers were so far over the top that the long-time county taxman touched off a backlash among businesses that prefer to maintain a low profile but decided to fight back instead. [caption id="attachment_10714" align="aligncenter" width="149"] Dave SipilaSt. Louis Co. Assessor[/caption] Here's one example we wrote about that's been designated as the "poster child"  for just how far off the mark the county tax assessors turned out to be. The valuation of one building sold...

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Milton Friedman on corporate taxes

All too often, the policy debates of today are simply refights of the battles of yesteryear. Because of this, old arguments often retain a modern relevance. Milton Friedman was an economist with a rare gift for translating technical arguments into clear prose (as you will find in his books Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose). In a week when Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a tax bill because it supposedly “put powerful special interests, multinational corporations, and the rich ahead of Minnesota schoolkids and families,” here is Friedman in a Newsweek column from November 1971 explaining why that argument was wrong then and is...

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Mosaic’s Departure Should Be a Wake-Up Call

Our friend Fritz Corrigan wrote this op-ed in today's Star Tribune about Mosaic Co.--the company Fritz formerly headed as CEO--departing Minnesota for Florida: I am a 40-year veteran of Cargill Inc. and the founding CEO of the Mosaic Co. I brought Mosaic to Minnesota, creating 150 high-paying headquarters jobs here. We could have decided to locate our HQ in Chicago, where we already had a large office, but instead we closed it and moved to Minneapolis. We also considered locating in Tampa, Fla. We knew then that Tampa would be less costly to Mosaic and to its HQ employees but chose...

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Gov. Dayton is wrong, the tax bill is not a giveaway for corporations

When Governor mark Dayton vetoed the tax bill last week, one of the reasons he gave was that “This bill is cake to the rich and big corporations and crumbs to people who need it.” In fact, while the bill contains steps in the right direction, they are only small ones. They are certainly not the handouts to corporate fat cats Gov. Dayton claims they are. ...

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Wisconsin under Scott Walker beat Minnesota by many economic measures

This op-ed appeared May 21, 2018 in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  There’s an old saying where I’m from: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. The recent report by the Economic Policy Institute comparing the economic records of Wisconsin and Minnesota since Governors Scott Walker and Mark Dayton took office in January 2011, is a case in point. It was seized upon by people, including a columnist for this news organization, who saw it as vindicating things they already believed. But just as you should never buy a car without checking under the hood, you should never trumpet...

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Since Governors Dayton and Walker took office, average hourly earnings growth has been higher in Wisconsin than in Minnesota

In its new report, the Economic Policy Institute argues that "Wisconsin’s determined efforts to weaken unions have contributed to the state’s poor wage growth". But data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that while Mark Dayton and Scott Walker have been governors of their respective states, the average hourly earnings of private sector employees has grown (slightly) faster in Wisconsin than in Minnesota. ...

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