The office of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) on Thursday released their annual November economic forecast. The report, which details the state’s budget picture, projected a surplus of $1.62 billion for 2020-21 budget cycle. By statute, $284 million of the surplus is allocated to the budget reserve, which is now full funded at $2.36 billion. After the reserve transfer, Minnesota is left with a $1.33 billion surplus.
“A budget surplus is better than a budget deficit, but we have to remember that a surplus also means the state collected more from taxpayers than it needs,” said Sen. Jason Rarick (R-Brook Park). “And in this case, the state collected a lot more than it needs. There will be an extensive debate about what do to with the surplus, but our ultimate responsibility is to use it responsibly: ideally, that means returning it to the taxpayers in the form of tax relief, or at least investing it in priorities everyone cares about like roads and bridges or seniors.”
Since taking the majority in 2017, Republicans have focused on strengthening Minnesota’s economy by connecting employers to the skilled workers they need with investments in career and technical education, and scholarships for students entering in-demand fields. Republicans have also prioritized tax relief for the people who make the economy churn: college graduates, working families, Main Street businesses, and farmers. In consecutive budgets, the Republican majority passed a $650 million tax relief package that was the largest in nearly two decades and the first middle class tax cut in twenty years.