Minnesota House Republicans are using news of a $1.87 billion budget surplus to douse Gov. Mark Dayton’s call for increased gasoline taxes for road work. House Speaker Kurt Daudt reacted Friday to the forecast by saying his caucus would push for tax cuts and to apply some of the money to transportation projects. Daudt says the surplus shows Minnesota government is collecting too much and should lower rates.
Minnesota’s bank account is projected to run up a $1.87 billion surplus over the next two years, which will drive calls for new spending, tax cuts or most likely a mix. The Department of Minnesota Management and Budget provided the figure Friday in an updated economic forecast that shows stronger-than-expected growth projections, rising worker wages and surging consumer confidence.
The budget-setting preseason at Minnesota’s Capitol is about to give way to the session’s full-blown debate, helped along by an economic forecast that guides tax-and-spending parameters. Friday’s release of the comprehensive report will determine whether Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature still have a projected $1 billion surplus at their disposal — or if it’s gone up or down since the last look in December.
Rural Democrats in the Minnesota Senate want a big piece of the state’s projected $1 billion budget surplus to solve workforce issues in their communities.
The University of Minnesota Medical School may soon get a financial boost, if Gov. Mark Dayton has his way. He’s proposing a multi-million dollar investment in the school to be included in the upcoming budget.
Gov. Mark Dayton blasted the new Republican Majority in the Minnesota House Friday for what he calls a “phony” transportation plan. Republicans yesterday unveiled a “no new taxes” plan to fix roads and bridges, but Dayton called it “fantasy.”
Talk of tax cuts has followed word that Minnesota’s budget will run up a $1 billion surplus. Top Democrats and Republicans separately raised the prospect Thursday of giving tax breaks with a portion of the surplus. The first dose could come soon in the next session as lawmakers weigh whether to match up Minnesota’s deductions and credits more closely with those at the federal level.
A clause in a construction borrowing package related to home sprinklers could doom the full package. Gov. Mark Dayton warned Monday that he would veto the full bonding bill over attempts to dump a building code requirement.
Leading lawmakers have announced how they will dispense with what remains of Minnesota’s $1.2 billion budget surplus, a framework that suggests the election-year legislative session is moving toward conclusion. The agreement released Friday by Democratic leaders would allow for $103 million more in tax breaks on top of the $447 million already enacted this year.
Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s willing to devote another $100 million of a budget surplus to spending on pressing needs above his previous proposal. Dayton said Thursday he made the offer to top lawmakers “in the spirit of accommodation.”
Lawmakers will be less than a month from the mandatory session finish line when they return to the Capitol after Easter, but don’t be surprised if they make an earlier break for it. Much of the heavy lifting of the election-year session is done. Negotiators from the House, Senate and Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration forecast more ease than usual buttoning up remaining tax and budget bills.
Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans will be getting a break on their taxes. Gov. Dayton signed $443 million of income and sales tax cuts into law Friday, after lawmakers passed the bill. The changes will take effect over next 15 months.
Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing to use half of Minnesota’s projected $1.2 billion surplus to cut taxes, with another big chunk going to fill reserve accounts. Dayton outlined his supplemental budget plan Thursday, the day the House was planning to vote on a slightly smaller tax bill.
Minnesota lawmakers have the kind of problem on their hands that, at first glance, would appear to be a good thing. Friday the state announced a surprising $1.23 billion surplus. But the debate about what to do with the surplus is so intense its even pitting members of the same party against each other.
Minnesota’s projected budget surplus swelled Friday to $1.233 billion, giving lawmakers more leeway to pursue tax cuts and increased spending this session. State finance officials released the updated outlook that showed the surplus is $408 million higher than what was projected a few months ago.
Republican leaders in the Minnesota Legislature say the $1.2 billion budget surplus is no cause for celebration because it shows state government overtaxes its citizens. Republicans unveiled their response Friday to news of the enhanced surplus: “Give it back.”
Democrats who control Minnesota’s House and Senate agree a $1.2 billion surplus is likely to make for an easier legislative session, but there’s not agreement yet on how much to spend, save or rebate to taxpayers. House Speaker Paul Thissen says he wants to move quickly on more than $500 million in tax relief.
Don’t count on a sales tax rebate check like the ones that became popular in prior years Minnesota ran a budget surplus. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Monday that it’s unlikely his chamber would go that route if there are extra dollars for lawmakers to allocate next year. A forecast last week showed $825 million available but a new report will come out as lawmakers return in late February. The Democrat from Cook says his preference is to add more money to the state’s budget reserves, consider transportation investments and make other tax and spending decisions that don’t have a lasting budget impact.
An update Tuesday from Minnesota Management and Budget says net general fund revenues totaled nearly $2.5 billion in February and March, which was $106 million or 4.4 percent better than forecast in February.
The state of Minnesota’s economic outlook improved by $323 million on Wednesday, but the new money came with a warning for elected leaders: you can look, but you can’t touch.
Nobody is talking about using Minnesota’s surplus funds for a stadium, but Gov. Mark Dayton admits it clears the way for the debate.