Minnesota's economic experts continued to express optimism in the latest budget forecast that was unveiled on February 27. They projected that Minnesota now has a $17.5 billion budget surplus. This is the amount left behind after you include the $1.6 billion in new spending that Democrats have already approved and has been signed into law, as well as inflation which totals roughly $1.42 billion.
According to the Minnesota Management and Budget Office, higher collections this fiscal year and higher profits raised the individual income and corporate franchise tax forecast.
House Republicans continue our efforts to secure Social Security tax relief for all of Minnesota’s senior citizens. Even though this was a campaign promise of many Democrat candidates last fall, we’ve seen no movement on this issue at all. This week, we attempted to debate Social Security tax relief on the House floor, but almost every House Democrat voted in opposition.
On the heels of this budget news, House and Senate Republicans unveiled a “Give It Back” tax relief package this week that provides $13 billion over two years in permanent tax cuts and one-time rebates.
In addition to the elimination of the tax on Social Security, the plan would use $5 billion for one-time rebated checks and $3.5 billion for a one-time child tax credit available for two years. The checks are estimated to be $1250 for single filers, and $2500 for joint filers.
The first and second tier tax rates would also be cut by 1% each to 4.35% and 5.8% respectively, and an adjustment of the homestead market value exclusion would give $35 million a year.
It’s my hope that the House majority will give some or all of these ideas some consideration. People continue to struggle to pay their grocery, gasoline, and energy bills, and state government continues to over-collect from its citizens. Its long past time to provide tax relief to Minnesotans and allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money.