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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 […]

The 2013 Progressivity of the Federal Tax Code

Source: Tax Policy Center Hat tip:

A Reward for Job Creators: Higher Taxes?

By John Spry St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN) – Sunday, October 21, 2012 Jobs are the leading concern of voters as the election nears. People want to get the economy moving again. So why are some of Minnesota’s leading lawmakers sponsoring bills to create a “jobs tax” on Minnesota payrolls? “Jobs tax” is the term Rep. […]

The Regressive Tax Incidence of H.F. 2480

The non-partisan Research Division of the Minnesota Department of Revenue has analyzed the tax incidence of part of H.F. 2480 that would directly tax Minnesota jobs by penalizing firms that increase their payrolls in Minnesota. Some of the highlights from the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s analysis: The share of a multistate corporation’s total income that […]

Save millions: Trade the Saints to Minneapolis for the Timberwolves

By John Spry St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN) – Wednesday, August 29 Minnesota has some of the very best sports facilities in the nation in Target Field and the Xcel Energy Center. So why are we planning to spend more than $200 million to build a second professional baseball stadium and remodel Target Center? Gov. […]

The Progressivity of the Tax Code

Source:  Congressional Budget Office (, p. 8 )  

The Revenue Not Taken: Tax Expenditures and the Budget Process

Professor Jenny Wahl from Carleton and I gave a presentation on The Revenue Not Taken: Tax Expenditures and the Budget Process at the 27th Annual Conference on Policy Analysis at the University of Minnesota on October 12, 2011.  

Minnesota Civic Caucus hears from Mark Haveman

Mark Haveman, a member of the 21st Century Tax Reform Commission discussed tax reform with the Minnesota Civic Caucus on Janaury 29, 2010.  Haveman had an important message to the Minnesota legislature: Message to the legislature: How a state structures tax rates is more important than issuing tax credits– “If we don’t do anything,” a […]

21st Century Tax Reform Presentation

On September 19, 2008 the 21st Century Tax Reform Commision heard public testimony about tax reform.  I discussed “Tax Reform: Theory and Evidence.” The PowerPoint slides are available here: Tax Reform Sept 19 2008.

Tax Expenditure Review Report

The Tax Expenditure Review Report released by the Minnesota Department of Revenue on February 15, 2011 recommends evaluating tax expenditures and bringing tax expenditures into the biennial budget process. The Tax Expenditure Review Report was presented at a hearing of the Minnesota Senate Tax Committee of February 23, 2011.  To complete the Tax Expenditure Review Report, the […]