Jim Robins is a former Minnesota Senate Majority researcher assigned to taxes, metropolitan and local government, and transportation issues. He currently operates www.ScooterMaxi.com.
Every two years, one of the most-impressive bureaucratic endeavors undertaken in Minnesota is carried out. This week we eagerly anticipate receiving the 2009 Tax Incidence Study. [The report will be available here this week.] This report has a sterling national reputation and should be celebrated by everyone who treasures the use of empirical data in developing fair and progressive tax policy.
However, it is a challenging document for the casual reader, and the potential is great for abusing one or two statistical estimates out of the tens of thousands reported. Take note that the Tax Incidence Study necessarily contains a four-year black hole between measured historical data and forecasting estimates. For 2009, that means we have no data reported for 2007-2011
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