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Why the Alarm about Yield Curve Inversions?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

Are you sitting down? I’ll pause typing for a moment so you can find a chair. Good. On Monday, Dec. 10, for the first time in 12 years, the yield (or interest rate) on the five-year U.S. Treasury bond fell below the yield on the three-year U.S. Treasury bond. Alarm bells rang on Wall Street….

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Trends in Indiana School Referenda Results

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Indiana school districts can propose referenda to ask their voters for added property tax revenue. Twelve referenda were proposed on election day, and eight passed. That’s 67 percent, just a bit more than the 63 percent pass rate since 2008. Move along, folks, nothing to see here. But there’s been an upward trend toward passing…

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The Proposed Balanced Budget Amendment for the Indiana Constitution

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Early voting has started in Indiana, and voters will see a constitutional amendment question on their ballot. The question asks whether the Indiana Constitution should be amended to require the General Assembly to adopt a balanced budget, unless two-thirds of the House and Senate vote otherwise. The amendment would add to Article 10, Section 5…

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Why is GDP Growth Higher than the Unemployment Rate?

Friday, September 21st, 2018

The growth rate of gross domestic product was higher than the unemployment rate last quarter. GDP adjusted for inflation increased 4.2 percent. The unemployment rate averaged 3.9 percent during April, May and June. That hasn’t happened in a while. The president said GDP growth was higher than the unemployment rate for the first time in…

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Why Did the Unemployment Rate Increase in June?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

The economy is growing. The expansion is nine years old and counting. The labor market is tight. There are more job openings than there are people looking for work. But in June the unemployment rate went up to 4.0 percent, from 3.8 percent in May. Is that just a random blip? Or is it the…

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Another Slow, Steady Year for the Indiana State Budget

Friday, July 27th, 2018

July is closeout month for the Indiana state budget. The state auditor releases the final revenue, spending and balance numbers for the fiscal year just ended. If it’s good news, the powers that be cry “huzzah!” and the loyal opposition looks for something to criticize. Fiscal year 2018 ran from July 2017 to this past…

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Shedding Light on LIT

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Indiana has used local income taxes since 1974, but in 2017 we made big changes in how they work. There used to be three, or seven, or maybe 13 different kinds of local income taxes, depending on how you counted. We called them by their acronyms: CAGIT, COIT, CEDIT, and LOIT. It got really complicated….

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Why Are School Tax Referenda Passing More Frequently?

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Every May and November some Indiana school districts ask their voters to approve property tax increases. There are construction project referenda to pay for school buildings and tax levy referenda for general operating costs. This May, schools proposed 12 referenda. All 12 passed. It was the first sweep since referenda became common in November 2008….

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Taxes and Tariffs

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

The Congressional Budget Office came out with their ten-year economic and budget projections earlier this month. The CBO is nonpartisan, which means they don’t have a political axe to grind. They’re just trying to get the right answer. The report is usually issued in January, but it was delayed this year because of the big…

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