Any discussion about taxes in Minnesota inevitably begins with a statement of where the state ranks compared to the rest of the nation. According to a report today from the Minnesota Taxpayers Association, Minnesota ranks 13th. And 21st. And 15th. And 32nd.
In its annual “How Does Minnesota Compare” study (available here), the MTA says the state has dropped from 12th to 13th in total state and local tax collections, based on data from fiscal year 2008.
On a per-thousand-dollars-of-personal-income basis, however, the state ranks 21st.
Minnesota ranks 15th in per capita spending, and 31st in spending on a per-thousand-dollar-of-income basis.
The report also compares areas of spending with other states. Minnesota spends about the same amount on K-12 as other states. It spends more on libraries, welfare, highways, and natural resources.
It spends less than the U.S. average on fire, corrections, sewer, health and hospitals, financial administration, justice, public buildings, and interest on general debt.
There are a few surprises for the non-financial follower. Minnesota, which some politicians claim has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, ranks 11th in per capita corporate income taxes. Alaska ranks #1.
And several states described as “business friendly,” have a high sales tax burden for its residents. On a per-capita basis, Wyoming, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and South Dakota — all often mentioned as more desirable tax states — have higher sales tax burdens than Minnesota, the report says.
But Minnesota’s reputation as being a high welfare state also is confirmed by the report. It ranks sixth.