1. _7.8 average
aid to cities is a significant state budget item. On a scale of (0)
most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is
your view on whether, to help balance the state budget, the Minnesota
Governor and Legislature should redesign state aids to cities?
2. _8.3 average
Many individuals lose income when they retire, thereby reducing their
taxes and, consequently, reducing state income and sales tax
collections. On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to
(10) most agreement, what is your view on whether the significant
increase in numbers of Minnesota retirees will have a long term effect
on state income tax and sales tax collections?
3. _4.9 average
Some Minnesota retirees move to Sunbelt states. On a scale of (0)
most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is
your view on whether significant numbers of Minnesota retirees are
moving to Sunbelt states to avoid higher state taxes in Minnesota?
4. _7.4 average
ranks low among states in academic research and development. On a
scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most
agreement, what is your view on whether, to improve economic growth,
Minnesota needs to significantly expand research and development in
its academic institutions?
John Cairns (10) (8)
Donald Anderson (5)
(8) (0) (10)
Bill Kuisle (10) (6)
Question 3: Then they come back here
for their final years.
Question 4: We need to make sure
that this is spent on research that will benefit society. Maybe more
of the money going to institutions like the "U" should be earmarked to
Phil Herwig (10) (6)
John Milton (5) (8)
We should be constantly looking at
what level of government should pay for and operate essential
The way this question is asked, it's
a no-brainer . . . We will lose revenue from the baby-boomers, but
need to find ways to recoup it from the next generations coming up
Question 3: The key
to this is the word "significant" -- we need better data rather than
"war stories" from the golfers in
We do not need more self-serving
research from places like the U of M . . . We need to get every young
Minnesotan an education that will serve them in a rapid changing
economy. The idea of the U of M becoming one of the world's top
research centers is laughable . . . I can hear the laughter all the
way from Palos Altos, Houston/Dallas, Princeton, New Haven, Cambridge,
London . . . Arrogance, which has always been well developed at the U
of M, is simply not enough . . . How about the basic mission?
Kent Eklund (9) (9)
Bert Press (10) (10)
Rick Bishop (8) (8)
David Dillon (10)
(10) (10 ) (10)
Question 3: I personally know many
people who have or are considering it.
Question 4: The idea that economists disagree about everything is a
myth. Sure, there is lots of disagreement about predicting the future
but on these two points there is universal agreement: Wealth comes
from productivity improvement. Productivity improvement comes
primarily from innovation.
The University of Minnesota is a key economic asset of the state and
needs to be supported in their pursuit of research and development.
One need only look to the impact of MIT or Stanford to see what this
can mean to the economic vitality of an area.
So much to reply to on this forum but
not the time. I had a simple (sometimes simple actually is the only
option) last year during my run for office. State spending subtract
state revenue equals a balanced budget. Our family’s revenue has
dropped by 60% in 3 years, and we reduced our expenditures by more
than that. Postponing state spending into the future, by shifting,
solves nothing but give a false security. The only real solution is
returning our state functions to constitutional boundaries, and
current elected officials appear pointlessly incapable to do just
that. What a sad day in my 32 year residency in Minnesota.
A very sober economic outlook for the
state and the state's budget--Looking toward the next biennium (July
1, 2011, to June 30, 2013), Stinson said the current planning
estimates show the state's general fund budget more than $4 billion
short of being in balance. That estimate, he said, is after revenue
growth of more than 11 percent is factored in. State general fund
revenues in the 2012-13 biennium are expected to total $34.3
How can people tell legislators
Minnesota can expect a revenue growth of 11% in the next biennium and
keep a straight face? Half the state budget problems are the spend
happy legislature and the other half are the economic forecasters on
the state payroll, The “blind leading the blind”.
Jan Hivcly (4) (10)
Question 1: I have no idea what
"redesign" might include.
Question 3: Who are we "agreeing" or "disagreeing" with here? I
agree with Tom Stinson that "Tax motivated movers appear to be a very
small group of people." Of course, the small group may be made up of
the most wealthy people in the state.
Question 4: Most of the R&D at the University is supported by
federal grants or by foundation or private donor grants. The question
is whether we are developing the climate for R&D ---- high pay for the
key researcher, lots of eager grad student assistants, good equipment,
support for patents, promotion of products, capital investment for
Alan Miller (2) (5)
Hans Sandbo (8.5) (9)
Bob White (7) (10) (5)
This sort-of-yes answer registers my concern that redesigning local
aid alone would mean simply reducing local aid; i.e., it needs to be
part of a larger overhaul of state budgeting.
As Tom pointed out,
there's no data beyond anecdotes.
Easy to give a top mark but difficult to carry out because, again as
Tom observed, the budget trap in the next several years makes even
that kind of important investment unlikely.
Richard McGuire (10)
(7) (1) (10)
This is critical not only for
Minnesota but for the entire country.
Charles Lutz (9) (9)
Austin Chapman (9)
(9) (8) (9)
Question 3: Don't know the
overall percentage but the drain is primarily among high income and
high contributing people.
Conrad deFiebre (0) (10) (1) (1)
Question 1: Governor already has
redesigned local aid, forcing cities to raise taxes and cut services
at the same time. State hasn’t raised taxes, but still has gained
Question 3: As Stinson said, it’s a
small niche demographic, led by the likes of Bill Cooper. He had the
chutzpah to editorialize that he was moving to Florida to escape MN’s
onerous taxes shortly after his company benefitted greatly from a
9-figure state investment in TCF Stadium. Most folks are more thankful
to the states where they made their fortune. My dad, for example, is a
pragmatic sort who always votes “the side the bread is buttered on.”
But he continues to pay Ohio income taxes despite spending at least 7
months a year in Florida.
Question 4: We are tapped out of the
ability to invest “significantly” in this. But we need to keep looking
for the smartest research opportunities with the highest probability
Vici Oshiro (_) (_)
Question 1: Redesign?
not sure; reexamine? yes
Question 2: This is a fact; why ask
for my opinion?
Question 3: Few because of taxes;
more because of weather. Heard long ago that many return when in
their 80s because of better health care here. We never left.
Question 4: 10. But we also need to
have the conversation about role of government suggested by Stinson.
Don't know how that can happen in current political climate. Is this
a role for non-profit sector?
Don Fraser (5) (8)
David Broden (10) (5)
Question 1: The review of LGA is
definitely at the top of the redesign list. This redesign should not
be only to shift the responsibility to the local community but to see
alternative resources to keep the quality of Mn cities, towns and all
communities uniform and at a high quality etc. A Mn quality has been
the uniformity across the state regardless of size or economic
strength. This reflects on how we are Mn. Rather than cut out LGA we
need to define what the criteria and basic levels of service are--how
state vs. local resources can keep quality in place etc. Bottom line
is don't eliminate but keep with new approaches and criteria.
Question 2: If the focus on Mn
economy remains flat and not building new high quality jobs the
revenue side can only go down as there are more retirees and few
workers. On the other hand if we build jobs and the economy with the
quality of the Mn workforce the tax income revenue should grow and the
retirees will add to the revenue as that segment grows in number.
Once again we are driven to finding a way to grow the economy and
jobs. Concurrently we need to keep some of the retirees in the
workforce in a productive way longer than we currently do. Since the
nation is skilled resource short even in down turn economy and we have
the skilled resources our business need to look at how to use the
retiree age group. To facilitate this we need to look for the right
type of near or at retiree manpower training--ie senior skilled
education updates--we need more programs like this in our state
colleges etc. to keep these people being value added to the economy.
Question 3: There are some and I
believe the number to be a few who migrate to avoid taxes and yet they
get the publicity. We need to be sure to have some type of incentive
for these folks to keep their residency in Mn and with some thought
this should not be hard since they come back each year.
Question 4: This one we need to be
careful about. Mn does do a reasonable but could be better job in
spending on R&D. How the funds are allocated and then more importantly
how the research is flowed out of the U etc. to industry
--particularly industry that will begin, grow, and stay in Mn is
the more important issue. The U can be a first class location for R&D
but if the process of applying and using the results is not good or
for some reason the output goes to another state--we have lost not
only the R&D results but the cost of education for those involved and
we train people for another state. This can be the reality of
globalization but it should also be a reason to work a better
technology transfer and application process to keep both the
technology and the people educated within Mn. This must be a joint
role of the U, other institutions, the state thru DEED, business, and
local communities who enable new business start up. We need to provide
some incentives for Investment companies to work the IPO world for Mn
--to keep people and technology to build Mn economy. A priority must
be to turn the image of low R&D to a high R&D capability. While the U
tech transfer process is said to have been improved over the past
2-3 years there are many who say it has not--this is a good topic to
push to clarify and get a new look with a different perspective than
perhaps has been used.
Joe Mansky (10) (5)
I’m not sure about this. I
suspect that people 65+ will be spending virtually all of their income
on an annual basis, which would generate sales tax revenue. I guess I
need to learn more about this subject.
Question 3: I can buy the concept
that someone moves to live in a better climate, to be near friends,
family, etc. But moving elsewhere to save $50 per week? I find that
hard to believe.
Al Quie (10) (10) (0)
Jim Weaver (10) (6)
David Detert (3) (10)
Peter Hennessey (5)
(8) (8) (0)
Did I read this right? You have 11%
more revenue and still are $4B short? What the .....?
Question 1: I have no idea. That's
what we have economists for. Hopefully they give us politically
unbiased facts and opinions.
Question 2: Old folks spend
differently. Tend to have more tax-free income.
Question 3: Also the weather, lower
cost of living.
Question 4: But only because I am
sure you guys mean that the state government should spend money on
research. No. The gov't has no business doing that. Colleges and
businesses are smart enough to figure out what they need to do with
the resources they have. Let business finance R&D. Don't mix in
politics. If you want to encourage R&D in general, make changes in the
Ray Cox (10) (10)
Question 1: I believe we need to
look at weaning all cities from LGA in a responsible fashion. Looking
at what it costs to povide water, sewer, police, fire and libraries
seems to be a start. LGA should not be involved in anything beyond
those basic items. Determining a fair tax burden for those items is a
reasonable way to even out state assistance and direct it only to
those that truly need assistance.
Question 2: I don't see how anyone
could argue against this position. The demographics of Minnesota are
not complex....our progressive income tax system will end up hurting
collections as the baby boomers move into retirement.
Another factor to be aware of is the
loss of small businesses. Many baby boomers are closing businesses
rather than stay involved and 'fight through' this huge economic
downturn. This is not being tracked, but I feel it has the potential
to be huge, in both loss of income taxes and loss of jobs.
Question 4: I would need to see much
more research on this issue and know how we are going to compete
against other states.
Jim Keller (10) (10)
Question 3: I have experienced the
fact that many of my friends were already leaving the state for 3
months or more; by extending this time they "moved out of the state"
without moving. By the way, the states involved are many; also the
cause is as much the estate tax as the income tax.
Question 4: I don't believe that we
can make the assumption that economic growth is dependent solely
dependent on our local talent population. When we had a large base of
large and small companies, we had an influx of qualified workers,
today we are exporting our educated people. I believe in the adage
"Build it and they will come."
Wayne Jennings (4)
(7) (6) (8)
Terry Stone (10) (10)
Question 4: The bloated bureaucracy
of academia is an inefficient and cumbersome environment in which to
nurture a research-based economy. A business-friendly tax climate will
foster research companies more effectively.
Bill Frenzel (10)
(10) (6) (_)
Question 2: Of course it will. All
the more reason to plug a few holes in the leaky sales tax.
Question 3: Some move for sun; some
move for lower taxes. My guess is that the latter group would include
relatively high-income, high-tax individuals. As long as FL, TX, etc.
have no taxes, we are not going to compete.
John Branstad (7) (7)
Great recap (as always). I have a ton
of respect for Mr. Stinson and Mr. Gillaspy. They provide facts and
their professional conclusions without becoming overly political -
unfortunately a rare occurrence these days...
Question 1: As a resident of a
small town in rural southern MN, I'm in favor of some redesign of
state aid to cities in order to get back lost state aid over the past
few years. Our "no new taxes" Governor has passed the buck to our
cities and counties by cutting their aid and forcing increases in
property tax levies and cuts to some of the most effective services
provided at local levels.
Question 2: There will certainly be
an impact, however I'm not convinced it will be of the crippling /
Question 3: As Mr. Stinson stated,
the evidence is purely anecdotal and appears to be (at most) only a
very small number of folks. This myth deserves to be fully debunked.
It screams 'confirmation bias'.
Question 4: Higher Education Funding
has been a favorite 'whipping boy' of the current Governor.
Unfortunately, those chickens are coming home to roost and our state's
economy is paying the price. Businesses are formed from ideas borne
out of research and innovation, often done at the University level.
When those programs are targeted time and time again by the Governor,
what message is that sending to the leaders of the next generation? To
me, his message is "Minnesota doesn't value the work you're doing to
lead us into the future. Take your ideas elsewhere."
Glenn Dorfman (10)
(10) (10) (10)
Question 1: If by re-design, you
mean making state aid to cities a low state priority. The idea that
some state taxpayers subsidize other state property taxpayers,
regardless of income, is ridiculous and has been since it’s
imposition in the early 1970s. Property taxes are local taxes and
people have to make choices about where they live based upon objective
reality. Living out in the country is fine as long as one understands
that it will take a longer time in coming than if one were to live in
a city/regional center. It is not the job of state taxpayers to
Question 2: Many retirees may lose
income but many shelter it from taxes through the use of tax free
municipal bonds. Maybe this tax expenditure is unnecessary and could
Question 3: As the baby boom turns
65 beginning in 2011, this trend will accelerate. Further, we should
“fix” the problem of retirees moving to low tax states until they
become ill or spend all of their resources only to return to Minnesota
for government provided nursing/health care.
Question 4: But isn’t this an
institutional decision? Rather than admitting all potential students,
regardless of their academic standing, at deep discounted (taxpayer
supported) tuition, maybe we should provide full and partial
scholarships to the “best and brightest” while steering others to
vocational and Community colleges for training for jobs that the
economy needs. I suspect this is not a very “Minnesota-nice” answer.
However, I would argue that it is exactly the Minnesota nice
passive-aggressive that may have brought us to this critical time in
our history. If no one is every willing to say “no”, it is not
surprising that we provide state aid to local governments while
allowing state bonding for local community centers, give
taxpayer discounted tuition to Minnesota College and University
students but are aghast that we do not have enough money for research
Robert A. Freeman (8)
(8) (6) (10)
Question 1: This is
essentially a transfer of money from the suburbs to the inner cities
and rural cities. If we wish to pursue this as a state policy we
should make it more explicit and transparent.
Question 3: Can't help, but I
suspect other factors are just as important.