Posted at 1:41 PM on April 7, 2009
by Paul Tosto
It's hard to get your arms around $30 billion of spending. That's the Minnesota state budget. But House and Senate staffers recently came as close as anyone to making it easy to understand. It's worth checking out.
In a dozen-plus PowerPoint slides, they've made it easy to see where the public money's coming from and where it's going in Minnesota. There's also good detail on Gov. Pawlenty's budget plan.
My favorite: The "Price of Government." That's state and local revenue as a percentage of personal income. Together state and local revenues made up about 16 percent of Minnesota personal income and that's stayed pretty steady for more than a decade.
It won't be a ton a money but you should see a little more cash rolling into your paycheck in the next few weeks -- part of the federal stimulus package known as the Making Work Pay Tax Credit. The vital question for the nation?Are you going to spend it?
For this year and next, the stimulus law provides a refundable tax credit of up to $400 for working individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns. For people who get a paycheck, the credit will credit will show up as changes to your withholding.
Taxpayers who don't have taxes withheld by an employer can claim the credit on their 2009 tax return.
The IRS has a page with all the info on the credit.
Of course, everyone wants you to spend that money once it starts trickling in. But people are inclined to hold on to their dough right now, which makes everyone from car makers to barristas worry.
Citizens from our Public Insight Network are telling us regularly that they are pulling back on purchases, are saving what they can and otherwise wary about extending themselves with any kind of spending.
You can add your voice and help MPR News get a better perspective on what's what happening by taking your own economic pulse.