A call for sales tax on cars and gasoline

No, I’m not joking. David Levinson wrote about an often overlooked but important subsidy* given to drivers: the lack of sales tax on gasoline and auto/truck purchases. I’m surprised this hasn’t received more attention given the other distortions that see press. Yes, we pay a motor vehicle sales tax when buying a car, but that is supposed to be a user fee for funding roads (well, 60% of it at least). Yes, we also pay state and federal gas taxes, but again those are user fees (the MN gas tax is 100% dedicated to the Highway User Tax Distribution Fund). Continue Reading

Delivering dollars: 2014 homeowner property tax report

In 2014, Minnesota homeowners will experience the largest property tax reduction in twelve years and will begin to benefit from the most significant reform of homestead taxation in at least three decades. The final property tax after refunds paid by the typical homeowner with a median income residing in a median value home will decline by over ten percent from 2013 to 2014 in the majority of Minnesota communities.

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More tax cuts coming

The Tax Conference reached a tentative agreement just before midnight Wednesday on the contents of the second tax bill. That agreement will provide $103 million in tax relief in the current biennium (FY 2014-15) and $119 million in the next biennium. This relief is on top of $443 million (current biennium) and $956 million (next biennium) provided in the first tax bill enacted in March. Continue Reading

LGA and property taxes: Frozen aid = tax increase

This year’s House Omnibus Tax bill improves on reforms made last year to city Local Government Aid (LGA). In 2013, policymakers made significant improvements to the aid formula and increased the appropriation to partially replace what was lost over the preceding decade. However, that bill failed to finish the job of LGA by annually adjusting the appropriation to keep pace with inflation and population growth. Continue Reading