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Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence


MCFE, a 501(c)(4), exists to educate and inform Minnesotans about sound fiscal policy; to provide state and local policymakers with objective, non-partisan research about the impacts of tax and spending policies and publish the research for the general public; and to advocate for the adoption of rational public fiscal policy.


  • 50-State Property Tax Comparison Study (2007 edition)

  • Public Pensions in MN: Re-Definable Benefits & Under-Reported Performance (May 2007)

  • Disincentives to Earn: An Analysis of Effective Tax Rates on Low Income Minnesota Households
    (April 2007)

  • Understanding Business Taxation (April 2007)

MCFE publishes a bi-monthly newsletter entitled Fiscal Focus. Other bulletins include Legislative Spotlight, “How Does Minnesota Compare?”; “Understanding Your Property Taxes”; “Understanding Education Finance”; “The Green Book—Fiscal Facts for Minnesotans”.


Note: We do not directly lobby for legislation, but advocate for sound tax policy. The legislation listed below was a result of our research and advocacy for good tax policy.

  • Sustainable Forest Incentive Act (2001—MCFE was hired to study the best approach to taxing private forests. Its study was the basis for the act.)

  • Property Tax Reform of 2001 (MCFE had argued for many years that the disparity in tax burden between business and residential property was not consistent with an accountable tax system. Our 50-state property tax comparison study, first published in 1996, and its updates in 1998 and 2000, along with our constant advocacy for a compression of the disparities, played a significant role in reducing the disparity between business and residential property taxes that was the heart of the 2001 reform.

  • Individual income tax rate reduction for all brackets, 1999 and 2000 (MCFE’s 1997 Individual Income Tax Burden Study and its update in 1999 was instrumental in showing the need for across the board rate cuts, rather than on just the lower two brackets.



“They’ve had a bigger impact on tax policy than any other organization that purports to be an expert in tax policy.”
  -Former Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe (DFL) from 1974 to 2002


“Among the watchers and pleaders at tax conference committee meetings this week, you don’t find credentials any deeper, or more detached from partisanship.”
  -Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial June 7, 2001

“…it’s very, very important that you deal with people of honor…and the Minnesota Taxpayers Association…and their leadership at the Capitol represent that…”
  -Representative Steve Sviggum (R), Speaker of the Minnesota House

“…they’re not a typical Capitol spokesperson for a particular interest. They really speak for what’s the best tax policy and they really stand for quality research…”
  -Richard Forschler Faegre & Benson, LLP (MCFE board member)

Mailing Address

85 E. 7th Place, Suite 250

St. Paul, Minnesota 55101

(651) 224-7477 • (651) 224-1209


Executive Director
Mark Haveman

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