Paul Ryan is pressing hard for tax changes to be permanent rather than temporary (see a representative article here). From a traditional economic perspective he is probably right to do so if he wants policy to have maximum impact on the economy, regardless of your preferred performance metric. There exists no shortage of empirical research on this topic and I include a link here to a research note that seems typical (and more importantly is not paywalled).
The latest numbers from the state OMB showed some interesting information regarding taxes, again. Rather than focus on sales tax this time I thought we could branch out into income taxes. Why? Sales tax revenues get the bulk of attention in the media and from me generally and I think branching out is important. Another reason is as the impacts and effects of the oil decline transmit into other sectors more fully, and the state budget cutting starts to fully take effect, we will see other revenues exhibit declines. My interest in the overall forecasting process, if we can call it that, also means we need to branch out into other revenue areas to understand the complete picture of the revenue process. The individual income tax revenue was also almost $20 million short of the forecast in May. With that in mind here is the picture for actual versus forecast individual income tax revenues in North Dakota:
The conversations on the radio lately deal with a very particular issue with ramifications for Grand Forks and North Dakota in general. Last week the question asked was, “Are we out of money in North Dakota?” By itself I cannot do much with that question, so I choose to rephrase it. I think it better to ask, “Are we hitting up against constraints in North Dakota?”
The web host switch is done now and I should be back to posting on a more regular basis. Topics to be addressed will include revenue forecasts, population projections and outlook, and a host of other economic issues and concerns related to North Dakota and the US.
I am teaching demographic methods, population analysis, whatever you want to call it this summer. The class title is not the really important thing to me, it is more a matter of content. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for accurate titles, but neither title is deceptive and most people have no idea what it is anyway regardless of the title.
With that in mind I thought I would include a few maps from my recent presentation at the state demographics conference. I gave the morning keynote address and talked about the basics of some of the demographic changes as well as the implications of those changes. The following series of maps is pretty important confirmation of what happened in North Dakota.
It will be really important to pay attention to the color scale on these maps. The lighter the color the higher the amount of net migration per 1,000 people in the population. Net migration is the amount of inflow less the amount of outflow, so higher numbers imply a higher local population, at least due to the migration aspects.
Clearly we see the impacts of the oil boom here. Enormously positive net migration into western North Dakota, particularly the Bakken region was the norm in 2011 and 2012.