ST. PAUL – State officials issued a new economic forecast for Minnesota on Monday, projecting a $17.5 billion surplus for the new biennium.
The bottom-line surplus figure remains in line with the last full forecast, issued in early December. State Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, said the report signals state revenue continues to grow because this forecast factored for inflation for the first time in decades.
“While it goes without saying a surplus is better than a shortfall, this forecast shows our state is still taxing people way too much,” Urdahl said. “It is not right that our state is sitting on historic amounts of over-collected tax dollars at a time Minnesotans are struggling with dramatic price increases on pretty much everything. Major tax relief – starting with completely ending the state tax on Social Security – should be a given this session. I also am concerned about legislation the majority is passing this year and the detrimental impacts businesses in our state face in the future so anything we can do now to offset those consequences would be helpful.”
Just hours after receiving the updated economic forecast, House Republicans on Monday sought to fast-track legislation fully eliminating the state tax on Social Security, a move which House Democrats blocked in a floor vote.
Overall, revenue tabulations for the current forecast continued to surpass previous projections for individual income taxes ($565 million) and corporate taxes ($125 million). Sales taxes were down $26 million.
The new $17.5 billion surplus figure will serve as the official framework as the Legislature works to establish a new two-year state budget this session before adjourning in late May.