Category: Economics

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 […]

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Here’s Some Research Backing Up Minneapolis 2040

Some Minneapolis 2040 detractors have complained that no evidence has been offered that building more housing where people want to live (i.e. “density”) is good. “I just don’t see it as a way that we would get a measurable impact, and especially from an affordability standpoint,” Ward 13 Council Member Linea Palmisano told the Star Tribune. Another […]

Midwest Metro Growth Chart Cu

Chart of the Day: Population Growth in Largest Midwestern Metros

Bloomberg carried a chart-laden article recently, written by Justin Fox, showing the disparate population growth rates in Northeastern and Midwestern cities. It charts the differences in growth rate distribution along the coasts, where three large metro areas are generating nearly all the population growth, and in the Midwest, where growth rates are more evenly distributed. […]

Chart of the Day: MSP Non-Minnesotan Domestic Migration, 1991-2016

Here’s a chart from, Aaron Renn, an urban economic consultant who has been critical the Twin Cities for some time now as not being attractive enough to national movers and shakers. In his recent blogpost, he writes about how domestic in-migration to the metro area is up slightly, but why he does not think much […]

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What is the Cost/Value of a Calorie?

We spend more for healthcare per person than any other country. By a significant amount. Some of this extra cost is in better healthcare facilities, more personnel, higher pay that attracts better caregivers, and other things. These increase costs, but not by much. The biggest chunk, 50-70% of our total healthcare costs, is that we […]