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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.
“State government continues to expropriate more money from the people than is necessary,” said Rep. Cal Bahr (R-East Bethel). “Minnesotans are over taxed and now is the time to enact meaningful tax reform. Eliminating the tax on Social Security for our seniors and eliminating the Estate Tax. Both of these taxes are collected on monies that have already been taxed.”
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.
Budget targets are expected to be released in the coming weeks as legislators continue work on the 2018-2019 biennial budget.