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High taxes sap Minnesota’s productivity, economic growth

This op ed appeared December 22nd, 2018 in the Duluth News Tribune.  The economist Paul Krugman once wrote that, "Productivity isn't everything, but in the long run it is almost everything. A country's ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker." He was right. The ability to turn a given amount of inputs into a larger amount of outputs — productivity growth — is the essence of economic growth. Sadly, as we with the Center of the American Experiment illustrate in our new report, "The State of Minnesota's Economy:...

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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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