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Minnesota doesn’t need higher gas taxes

In terms of revenue the politicians in Saint Paul have never had it so good. Why, then, are they pleading poverty and planning to take more of their citizen's money from them? If they are having trouble funding a core competency such as roads, that would seem not to be the result of a shortage of revenue but of a mistaken allocation of the revenue they have. With all the cash they get from us and the surplus they are projected to get, there is no excuse for soaking the state's citizens afresh to pay for something so basic. ...

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Tax Conformity: That Ship Has Sailed

The Associated Press had a great overview of the problem presented by the failure of Governor Mark Dayton to negotiate and sign a bill that would bring Minnesota income tax law into conformity with the new federal tax law. The article tries to assign shared- blame between legislators and the governor; that is not fair to legislators who put a bill in front of the governor for his signature. At the start of the session, most observers agreed that this was the one issue that had to be handled. But Dayton did not offer to negotiate, he just vetoed it. He...

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Minnesota’s government is forecast to take $1.5 billion more from the state’s taxpayers than it says it needs. What should it do with that money?

Minnesota's state government is forecast to have a surplus of $1.5 billion over the next two years. This should kill stone dead any notion that tax increases are called for. Department of Revenue data shows that, in real terms, Minnesota's Total State Tax Collections have risen by 47.5% since 2010. Add this projected surplus, and it is simply unbelievable that the state government cannot find the funds to maintain a core function like roads without tapping the taxpayers up again.  ...

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Minnesota’s economic performance continues to be unimpressive. And there are signs for concern about the future

Yesterday, we released our new report The State of Minnesota’s Economy: 2018. After finding Minnesota's economic performance to be 'lackluster' last year, we had to raid the thesaurus again. Our state's economic performance continues to be unimpressive. Furthermore, looking at key drivers of future growth, there is cause for concern. ...

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Congress: Help Small Employers Offer Retirement but Fairly Allocate Its Costs

I recently wrote about a bill called "RESA" (Retirement Enhancement and Savings) quickly making its way through Congress; it would entice small employers with a tax break to offer retirement benefits to employees by allowing them to band together, acting like a larger employer that can afford to manage and pay for the administration of 401(k) and IRA plans. I applauded the idea but complained that the cost of RESA (lost tax revenue) was being loaded solely onto my kids should they inherit the plans from me, probably at their highest lifetime tax rate. The idea that they would be force-marched...

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If we want carbon taxes without riots, reduce other taxes

Very often, the people who argue that carbon taxes need to be higher are the same people who argue that all the other taxes should be higher as well. Do they want to save the planet? Or do they just want higher taxes? If they were willing to accept cuts in other taxes to offset increased carbon taxes, they might find less resistance to their policies. ...

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French Tax on Gas and Diesel Triggers Enormous Protests

Diesel prices in France have skyrocketed more than 23 percent over the last 12 months and French motorists already spend more than $7.00 per gallon, USD. Despite these enormous costs, French President Emmanuel Macron has stated the rising gas taxes are needed to reduce France’s dependence on fossil fuels and fund renewable energy investment.  The new taxes would raise the cost of diesel fuel by nearly 30 cents per gallon, and will continue to climb in the coming years....

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Let’s Help Small Employers Offer 401(k)s But Not at the Expense of My Kids

It has been decades since Congress addressed retirement plans in a comprehensive way; the Left is capitalizing on that by getting states to offer defined benefit plans for low-income private sector employees. Several states including California (of course) have already passed the legislation needed to begin what will essentially become state-managed pensions for everyone. That is a bad idea worth killing by offering a better idea. The President and Congress are thinking about ways to help smaller employers band together so they can offer a retirement plan to their employees but who pays to get this done? Your kids. ...

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