ST. PAUL, MN -- The Office of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released the February economic forecast Tuesday, revealing updated budget numbers as lawmakers begin crafting the state's next two-year budget for the 2018-2019 biennium. For the 2018-2019 biennium, Minnesota is projected to have a $1.65 billion surplus—an increase of about $250 million compared to the November forecast late last year. Minnesota's budget is structurally balanced, with a $2.124 billion surplus projected for the 2020-2021 biennium.
“Minnesotans have been overtaxed and underappreciated,” said Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria). “Given the news of a growing surplus, we need to provide meaningful tax relief to Minnesota taxpayers to create a surplus in their wallet. As the Legislature begins to craft the budget for the next two years, we have to make sure critical investments are made in helping our most vulnerable Minnesotans: those living with disabilities and mental health issues.”
The $250 million in increased surplus funds come primarily from greater-than-expected revenue from individual income taxes, the general sales tax, and the corporate franchise tax. MMB budget documents note that an improved U.S. economic outlook and positive numbers for key economic data points such as personal income growth, employment, and consumer spending have contributed to the additional surplus revenue.
"Minnesota government does well when Minnesotans do well. Minnesotans have worked hard and tax relief is long overdue. House Republicans will pass significant tax relief to put money back in the pockets of families whose hard work has helped generate the state's budget surplus," said House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown).
Budget targets are expected to be released in the coming weeks as legislators continue work on the 2018-2019 biennial budget.