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CNN cited me in a story about lottery sales

CNN cited me in their story, “The lottery game that’s bigger than Powerball” by Chris Isidore on February 11, 2015 about the economics of state lotteries. The odds of winning an instant game are actually better than they are for Powerball and MegaMillions. Scratch-off games typically pay out about 70% of the money spent on […]

Minnesota and National Unemployment Rates

Minnesota’s unemployment rate is generally below the national average.  However, Minnesota unemployment rate often moves closer to the national average leading into a recession as shown in this graph of Minnesota and U.S. employment from 1976 to 2014.

The ‘pyramid’ problem with Gov. Dayton’s sales-tax hike

St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN) – Sunday, January 27, 2013 Gov. Mark Dayton wants to tax the sale of food, clothing, and just about everything else you buy in the worst possible way. His budget proposes a $2.1 billion, or 20.7 percent, sales tax increase. Since everyone pays sales tax, everyone will pay Dayton’s sales tax […]

Don’t cherry-pick: Weigh the costs and benefits of higher taxes

St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN) – Sunday, May 19, 2013 Gov. Mark Dayton wisely urged Minnesotans to use facts in the budget debate in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce. Despite this sage advice, he continued to rely on a flawed analysis as an important rationale for his budget’s higher taxes. “If the lowest […]

Tax Incidence Analysis of 2013 Minnesota Omnibus Tax Bills

The Tax Research Division of the Minnesota Department of Revenue has release Tax Incidence Analyses for the House omnibus tax bill (HF 677), the Senate omnibus tax bill and the Governor’s Supplemental Budget Proposal.  There are available here: House_Incidence_Analysis_2013 (5-11-12) Senate_Incidence_Analysis_2013 (5-11-13) Gov_Supplemental_Incidence_Analysis (5-11-13)

Updated Marginal Income Tax Rates over 60% on Secondary Earners

Did you know Minnesota is considering a 12.49% state income tax rate?  Or that some Minnesotans would face marginal income tax rates over sixty percent? Let’s look at the numbers of how layers of taxes add up to effective marginal income tax rates over 60%: Federal income tax rate             39.6%            (top tax bracket) Federal FICA                            […]

Proposed Marginal Income Tax Rates over 60% on Secondary Earners

Did you know Minnesota is considering a 12.65% state income tax rate?  Or that some Minnesotans would face marginal income tax rates over sixty percent? Let’s look at the numbers of how layers of taxes add up to effective marginal income tax rates over 60%: Federal income tax rate             39.6%            (top tax bracket) Federal FICA                            15.3%             (combined FICA […]

Written Testimony about Gambling Control Board Revenue Estimates

On April 27, 2012, I provided the following written testimony about the Gambling Control Board estimates to the Minnesota Senate Tax Committee hearing on SF 2391: Providing for a New National Football League Stadium. Dear Chairwoman Ortman and Members of the Committee, I have been asked to provide some information about the economics of revenue estimates […]

Minnesota’s Tax Expenditure Review Report Rejects Tax Pyramiding

The Minnesota Tax Expenditure Review Report (which I co-authored with Marsha Blumenthal, Laura Kalambokidis, P. Jay Kiedrowski, Judy Temple, and Jenny Wahl) agrees with economist Alan Viard’s call for treating state sales taxes as consumption taxes on final consumer purchases of goods and services.  The Tax Expenditure Review Report rejects tax pyramiding: Economists and public […]

Sales Taxation of Business Purchases: Economist Alan Viard Explains A Tax Policy Distortion

Economist Alan Viard is one of the leading scholars of tax policy in the United States.  In this article, first published in State Tax Notes in 2010, Viard explains the logic behind the broad consensus of economists that state sales taxes should generally exclude business to business purchases to avoid tax pyramiding. Viard’s article, Sales Taxation of […]