ALEXANDRIA, MN—The Office of Management and Budget (MMB) released their November Economic Forecast Thursday, revealing a projected surplus of $1.871 billion for Fiscal Years 2016-2017. State law puts $594 million into the state budget reserve, leaving an overall projected balance of $1.206 billion.
“Today’s news is a reminder that families are overtaxed and in need of relief from the crushing tax policies of the past two years,” said Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria). “Instead of focusing on creating more state programs to spend more of your hard earned money, I am committed to bringing tax relief to middle class families, a common sense transportation plan to address our needs without increasing your tax burden, and funding for home based community services in the coming legislative session.”
"Today's budget news is an opportunity to put Minnesotans first and make their lives better by letting them keep more of their hard-earned dollars," said House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown). "Instead of increasing government budgets, let's increase family budgets by providing middle-class tax relief during the next session."
During the press conference, Governor Mark Dayton also declared his signature proposal to increase the state's gas tax "dead."
"I'm pleased that after nine months Governor Dayton has finally come around to our position and ruled out a harmful gas tax increase," added Speaker Daudt. "I'm disappointed that House Democrats refuse to commit to Minnesotans that they won't try to raise the gas tax, and look forward to working with the Senate and the governor to pass our long-term transportation plan that invests $7 billion into roads and bridges without a tax increase."
In 2015, the House passed a 10 year, $7 billion transportation plan that would fix 15,500 lane miles of road and 330 bridges statewide with bipartisan support. The governor and Democratic lawmakers blocked the measure from becoming law because of their insistence on a gas tax increase.