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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

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Thursday, December 9, 2021

ST. PAUL – State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) said Minnesota’s latest budget forecast is much improved over what had been projected just a few short months ago.


For the Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget cycle, Minnesota now projects a $7.746 billion surplus, which is a record-setting projection for the state.


“I’m pleased that Minnesota’s economy is doing well,” Torkelson said. “But these repeated budget surplus projections show that changes need to be made, because the state is taking more money than it needs out of people’s pockets. Its time to focus on restructuring our tax collection system so we stop punishing our residents and our business owners.” 


According to the Minnesota Management and Budget Office, strong growth in income, consumer spending, higher tax receipts and slightly lowered state spending helped contribute to the surplus projection.


Torkelson said any number of areas should be targeted for surplus allocation. A top priority should be repaying the state’s unemployment insurance $1.13 billion trust fund debt to the federal government. Without action, state business owners will be paying higher payroll taxes – potentially 15% - to make up the difference. He added that lowering the statewide business property tax, income tax reductions, and raising wages for our nursing home and group home workers would also be common sense solutions.