ST. PAUL – Minnesota’s economic experts say a budget surplus is expected for our state’s next two year budget cycle, which is positive news according to State Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake).
“There's no doubt that it's better to have a windfall than a shortfall," Hamilton said. "Last session lawmakers could not agree on how to provide tax relief to hardworking Minnesotans, and now that we know we have this significant budget surplus to allocate, we must come up with a plan that gives our taxpayers a break."
During the 2016-17 budget crafting process last session, Hamilton said about $865 million was left unspent.
Of the $1.871 windfall projection, roughly $665 million is mandated by law to make state payments and to be sent to Minnesota's budget reserves. This means the actual surplus number is closer to $1.2 billion, an amount that must be allocated before lawmakers adjourn in May.
“As we've seen in the past, radically increasing our future state spending obligations is the surest way to bring back the cycle of budget deficits," Hamilton said. "We need to use some common sense as we determine how to utilize this surplus and our focus should be tax relief policies that allow Minnesotans to keep more of their hard-earned money."
In addition, Hamilton noted that the next budget cycle, Fiscal Year 2018-19, shows a projected budget surplus of $2.046 billion.