ST. PAUL – Minnesota's latest state budget forecast was positive according to State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston). Economic experts recently noted that our state is projected to face a $1.871 billion surplus, which will be allocated by lawmakers when they return to the Capitol in March.
"Everyone is pleased to have a budget surplus as opposed to a deficit," said Davids, who chairs the Minnesota House Taxes Committee. "But nearly half of this surplus was left unspent last year so we could come back in 2016 and provide hardworking Minnesotans with needed tax relief."
Davids 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.
Davids 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 will be left for the Legislature to allocate.
Because the House, Senate, and Dayton administration could not agree on a compromise taxes plan in 2015, Davids said all sides will pick up where they left off when the 2016 session begins.
"The House and Senate each passed versions of an omnibus taxes bill, so now all we have to do is find common ground between the two and allow Minnesotans to keep more of their money," Davids said. "I truly believe all sides want to use at least some of the surplus on tax relief, and I'm confident we'll send a tax relief proposal to the governor before we adjourn next spring."