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State Representative Bob Gunther

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Posted: 2015-12-04
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Press Release

REP. GUNTHER: LEGISLATURE SHOULD PROCEED CAUTIOUSLY WITH PROJECTED SURPLUS NEWS


ST. PAUL – If projections from state economists remain accurate over the next few months, Minnesota is expected to receive a $1.871 billion surplus for the 2016-17 budget cycle.

 

State Representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) said state lawmakers should react to this news with caution.

 

“Any projected surplus belongs to the people because it represents the amount of their money that the state over-collected,” Gunther said. “We just set our state budget last year, meaning our spending needs are being met. Now it's time for us to look at ways to ease the financial burden of our taxpayers."

 

According to Minnesota’s economists, the good fiscal news is due to higher than expected revenue collections and lower than expected state government spending. 

 

Gunther said roughly $865 million was left unspent when the 2016-17 state budget was crafted last year. During that two-year cycle, Minnesota's taxpayers are projected to provide $42 billion in order to pay for state government programs.

 

Gunther noted that a significant portion of the projected surplus - about $665 million - will be sent to budget reserves and to make certain payments that are directed by state law. This means $1.2 billion is projected to be left for the Legislature to allocate.

 

“We did not have a taxes or a long-term transportation bill last year, and because of this more than $800 million was left unspent," Gunther said. "That's why it's imperative that we figure out a way to provide tax relief to Minnesotans while finding a long-term plan that funds our road and bridge needs utilizing existing tax revenues, because clearly we have the money to fund both of these initiatives."

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