Late last month, we received news that Minnesota’s budget surplus has remained largely unchanged and continues to sit at $17.5 billion. This number is likely larger because inflation is now required to be factored into this calculation. Nevertheless, $17.5 billion is the number that lawmakers have to work with as budget negotiations begin in earnest.
Gov. Walz has released details of his budget proposal and he is looking to spend more than $65 billion over the next two years. This would mark a nearly 25% increase in total government spending when compared to the last state budget that was approved in 2021. An increase of this size is reckless and something that should be rejected by lawmakers.
Additionally, he is proposing to raise taxes and fees on all Minnesotans at a time when the state has a $17.5 billion budget surplus.
I support a different approach.
A surplus of this size means that you have been dramatically overtaxed and you deserve to have your money returned through permanent tax relief.
That’s why I support our House Republican tax plan that would put this money directly back into your family budgets as you deal with the impacts of soaring inflation.
Our plan would provide immediate relief through one-time rebate checks and a one-time child tax credit available for two years.
Permanent relief comes in the form of the full elimination of the tax on Social Security to provide 472,902 Minnesotans with an average tax reduction of $1,277. The list of states that tax Social Security income shrank to just 11 in 2023.
An additional $3 billion in permanent tax relief comes in reducing both the first and second-tier tax rates by 1% each to 4.35% and 5.8% respectively. Minnesota’s lowest tax rate is higher than the highest tax bracket in 24 states and is consistently ranked one of the highest-taxed states in the country. Anyone who pays income taxes would see a reduction in their taxes under this plan.
Finally, an adjustment of the homestead market value exclusion would give $35 million a year in relief.
These are commonsense ways to give your surplus back to you.
While tax relief is badly needed and something I strongly support and continue to fight for, there are still certain responsibilities that state government must invest in to meet the needs of Minnesotans. This includes things like education, public safety, roads, and bridges, protecting the vulnerable, taking care of our seniors, and more.
Last week, the House approved a public infrastructure bill that provided more than $2 billion for projects across the state. Many worthy projects were funded, but others did not deserve state funding in my estimation. Additionally, the bill borrows money, forcing Minnesota taxpayers to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments at a time when the state has a budget surplus. Why should we spend with the state’s credit card when we have the cash to pay for these projects?
For those reasons, I voted “no” on this bill. Too much wasteful spending on projects that folks in our area shouldn’t have to pay for and borrowing money at a time when we have a budget surplus just doesn’t make sense to me.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share any thoughts or concerns you may have about state government or the job I'm doing as your representative. It would be great to talk with you. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great day,