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St. Paul Mayor Proposes More Transparent Budget After City Loses Landmark Case

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman proposed a budget that dramatically reduces road maintenance fees and raises property taxes by an equally dramatic 23.9 percent.  The fee reduction and property tax increase are largely offsetting. The city is making this big revenue shift because St. Paul recently lost a legal challenge by two downtown St. Paul churches.  In that landmark case, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the road maintenance fee was in fact a tax and, as a tax, needed to follow constitutional requirements on taxation. American Experiment helped win that case by filing an amicus brief on behalf of the churches.  We...

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Report shows Minnesota’s estate tax burden is among the highest in the country

Minnesota is one of 18 states and the District of Columbia that levy either an estate or inheritance tax, often called death taxes.  Among these states, a new report by the Tax Foundation shows Minnesota imposes the sixth most burdensome death tax in the country, making Minnesota a real outlier. Comparing state estate and inheritance taxes is complicated because there are so many variations in how these taxes are levied.  To help compare states, the Tax Foundation calculated the effective estate tax rate each state applies to four different values of estates—$2.5 million, $5 million, $10 million, and $20 million.   The...

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Caveat: Hennepin County Taxpayers Will Pay More to Fund Met Council Vision for Trains

The problem for Hennepin County and the cities in the county, is that the sales and other taxes are already quite high. Minneapolis is also promising to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, thus making the city an outlier and pariah for small and medium companies. Well, it will sort things out but not in favor of Minneapolis and Hennepin County. ...

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Legislature’s Special Session Wrap-Up: Estate Tax, Healthcare & More

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Legislature ended its special session early Friday morning. Here's the rest of what was decided. Minnesotans On the Move How to keep Minnesotans from exiting the state for good, or severing all financial ties with the state after establishing residency elsewhere? Estate tax: The death tax was not repealed but the threshold will be gradually increased from the current $1.8 million to $3 million by 2020. The federal level is $5.49 million per person. Dayton's Department of Revenue has gained a reputation for being aggressive with Minnesotans who declare residency elsewhere (the state tries to claw them...

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Vetoed tax bill would focus tax relief on seniors, families, and small businesses

The House and Senate agreed to over $1 billion dollars in tax cuts last week, much of it focused on the middle class.  The largest chunk—nearly $220 million—went to cut taxes on social security income.   The bill also included substantial increases in subtractions and credits for expenses related to child care, education, scholarship program contributions, and student loans.  On the business side, the bill lowers statewide property taxes on businesses and, in particular, small businesses.  Credits for investments in research and development, as well as start-ups also get a boost.  Finally, the bill would also reduce the estate tax by...

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