The office of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) on Thursday released their annual February economic forecast. The report, which details the state’s budget picture, projected a surplus of $1.513 billion for the 2020-21 budget cycle, an increase of $181 million from the November forecast. The general fund budget reserve remains at $2.359 billion.
“It’s good news we have a budget surplus, but I would caution the governor, his commissioners, and my fellow legislators to rein in the unnecessary spending,” said Senate Finance Committee Chair Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center). “First, we have some immediate priorities that we have to address, like filling the disaster relief account and replenishing the reserves. Second, we should return as much of the surplus as possible to the taxpayers who built it. A little tax relief can go a long way for families that are working hard just to make ends meet. Finally, we shouldn’t pretend everything is great just because there is a surplus. For too long, government spending has grown at an unsustainable pace, and there are billions of dollars of examples of waste and abuse. Rather than think about a wish list of extravagant spending ideas, we should focus on finding and cleaning up those messes in government agencies.”
Senate Republicans have already announced a plan to return the vast majority of the budget surplus to taxpayers. The plan calls for reducing the lowest income tax rate, eliminating Social Security income taxes, expanding tax credits for families with young students, and providing relief for farmers and mom-and-pop businesses. You can read about the “Get your billion back, Minnesota” tax plan here.