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The state government’s surplus is projected to be smaller, but that does not justify tax hikes

A surplus of $1.0 billion poses the same questions as a surplus of $1.5 billion does. Should lawmakers spend it? Leave it with the state's citizens? Hold fire until the fiscal situation becomes clearer? What it does not mean is that we need to raise taxes....

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Teachers’ Union Wish List? $4 Billion More from “the Rich.”

Taxpayers and smart lawmakers should remind Gov. Walz and their colleagues in the Legislature that Minnesotans from all walk of life have choices, and they can vote with their feet, taking their income and wealth with them. Let's instead come up with a budget plan that honors the hard work of all taxpayers by wisely spending the taxes they already send to St. Paul. ...

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On Taxes, Schafer Gets It Half Right

Business columnist Lee Schafer wrote in Saturday's Star Tribune that Minnesota "needs to take a look at its income tax." Schafer began with the fact that Minnesota's personal income tax revenues, like those of other high-tax states, are falling short of projections: [Management and Budget Commissioner Myron] Frans was reporting that January general-fund revenue was $2.28 billion, about 10.7 percent less than the most recent forecast. Most of the lines were close to the forecast but not individual income taxes, coming in about $280 million less than the $1.73 billion forecast. *** [T]he last state budget update before this one showed that individual...

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Farms Use Boatloads of Energy

The article below is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Today in Energy series. It was published in October of 2014, but it reinforces the points I made earlier this week about how higher gas taxes will disproportionately hurt rural Minnesotans. The second graph in this post is especially interesting because it shows that diesel fuel, is the largest energy source used in agriculture because it works. Admittedly, I am not certain if the proposed fuel-tax increase would increase the taxes for off-road diesel, but this is something agriculture interest should pay close attention to. If raising the gas tax is needed for...

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