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Minnesota budget hole 9th-worst in nation

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Image courtesy of StuartPilbrow on Flickr

Minnesota has earned the dubious distinction of missing $3.2 Billion from its 2010 budget, making it the 9th-worst budget gap of the 50 states.

A story in yesterday's Wall Street Journal includes a chart with the data. But the chart also shows that Minnesota is in the middle of the pack when it comes to tax revenue changes; in the last quarter of 2008, revenue went down by 2.3 percent compared to the year before. Pretty good compared to a state like Alaska, which saw its revenue dip 25 percent in the same time period.

State governments are struggling with the economic crisis as much as the rest of us. The WSJ story reports that many states, including Minnesota, are considering tax hikes:

At least 10 states are considering some kind of major increase in sales or income taxes: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. California and New York lawmakers already have agreed on multibillion-dollar tax increases that went into effect earlier this year.

As we all watch our pennies, the last thing we need is the government taking more of our money. On the other hand, as people are increasingly pinched, state services like health care become more and more needed.

So people have no money = the state has no money = the state can't provide all its services = the state takes more money from people. Ugh. Bad problem to have.