Category: Economics

Whole Foods Spices

Whole Foods Just Lowered Prices, Just a Little

Whole Foods announced recently that they were planning on reducing prices store-wide as part of Amazon’s campaign to combat the image of a “Whole paycheck” grocery store. The Whole Foods media release gloated, “Starting Wednesday, customers will find new lower prices on hundreds of items throughout the store with an emphasis on high quality, peak-of-season […]

Mpls Tax Base In Tif

FAQ: Tax Increment Financing

The recent Seward Commons debate highlighted an important discussion about how the city uses Tax Increment Financing, or TIF. It’s one of the few financial tools cities have and control fully. But it’s not broadly understood. So what is TIF and how does it work? What has Minneapolis used it for in the past? What […]

Bird Scooter Man Riding In California

Lime, Bird, and Spin Set to Ride in St. Paul

City staff have selected electric scooter network operators Lime, Bird, and Spin for the 2019 season, and the City Council will decide whether to approve those contracts at its Wednesday, April 24, meeting. Read the agenda for the meeting. All three vendors are based in California. Lime (the brand of Neutron Holdings Inc.) is based […]

NLX train

Reader Survey Results: Economics of Amtrak from Minneapolis to Duluth

On March 27, we posted about the numbers surrounding the proposed $600 million investment to bring Amtrak rail service along a corridor between Minneapolis and Duluth. Many of you shared your stories of rail and bus travel, and many expressed a deep appreciation for the comfort and conveniences of travel by rail. To learn more, I created a […]

Why You Should Oppose a Gas Tax Increase

There are many reasons to oppose Tim Walz’s proposed gas tax increase. When a DFL governor last tried to increase the gas tax in 2015, Charles Marohn of Strong Towns wrote two excellent pieces detailing all the ways that The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s road building policies are hurting Minnesota’s cities and towns, fueling suburbanization […]

St. Paul Empire Builder

Reader Survey: What Would You Pay for Minneapolis-Duluth Rail Service?

On March 27, we posted about the numbers surrounding the proposed $600 million investment to bring Amtrak rail service along a corridor between Minneapolis and Duluth. Many of you shared your stories of rail and bus travel, and many expressed a deep appreciation for the comfort and conveniences of travel by rail. In an effort […]

Gas Tax Chart Cu

Chart of the Day: Gas Taxes Around the World

Via Barry Ritholz’s blog, here’s a chart showing the US Federal gas tax relative to other nations:   Ritholz cites US Chamber of Commerce pressure to increase the Federal gas tax, but also the Congressional dysfunction that makes such an increase unlikely. Here’s a quote from his conclusion: This may be a symptom of national […]

Organics

Sustainable To-Go Packaging: Still a Push in St. Paul

Streets.mn readers care about the environment, right? That’s why we’re counting on you to care about the push for sustainable to-go packaging at restaurants and eateries in St. Paul. St. Paul City Council members are warming up to the idea of updating the city’s ordinance to require sustainable to-go packaging, with an implementation period of […]

Metro Transit Bus

Free Transit or Better Service?

Recently, Vancouver-based planning rockstar Brent Toderian started a conversation on Twitter about two approaches to increasing public transit use: free fares or better service and connections. I’m a long-time fan of free public transit, so it pained me to see many people siding with better service/connections. Obviously, I’m in favor of better service, too, but […]

Twin Cities Opportunity Zones

Map Monday: Designated Opportunity Zones of the Twin Cities

This past weekend Star Tribune metro reporter Eric Roper wrote about the census tract that includes the Mall of America and Bloomington’s South Loop being classified as Opportunity Zones. He notes that in the 2017 tax code overhaul, Congress created Opportunity Zones to offer tax advantages for investments made in designated distressed areas. The designations stay in […]