Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Minnesota's economy is top dog in the Great Lakes region No. 000072

Minnesota's economy is top dog in the Great Lakes region | Michigan Radio


Minnesota is one of the top-ten best economies in the country; it is also a high-tax and high-spending economy.

"For so long, the accepted formula is that in order to have a healthy state economy, you have to have low taxes, low spending, and right-to-work laws," Haglund says. "Minnesota actually has turned all of that on its head."

In 1990, Minnesota and Michigan were roughly comparable in per-capita income. Now, Minnesota's per-capita income in $9,000 per-person higher than Michigan's. Unemployment is 4.7% in Minnesota, and it hasn't had a month with double-digit employment rates since 1976. Minnesota has one of the highest percentages of adults in the labor force in the country, while Michigan has one of the lowest.

Haglund says it's difficult to say that Minnesota's high-tax and high-spending economy is the sole reason for its success. There are underlying policies that Minnesotans enacted decades ago that contributed to their healthy economy.

"They also have a pretty rich mix of industries," Haglund says. "They're less dependent on one industry, as we are here in Michigan."

Minnesota has a progressive income tax system where those who earn more pay more. Its top income tax rate is 9.85%, and people with lower incomes pay 5.35%.

Michigan has one rate of 4.25%.

Minnesota's corporate income tax rate is a third higher than Michigan's.

The gasoline tax is nine cents a gallon higher in Minnesota, the sales tax rate is 6.85%, and local jurisdictions can add up to a percentage point on the sales tax.

Minnesota has a good education system and has led the nation in the percentage of students who are college-ready, and has the highest percentage of college graduates in the Great Lakes region.