Yesterday, the Minnesota Management and Budget Office released their November economic and budget forecast, giving an update on tax revenues through the first few months of the 2014-2015 budget cycle.
The news was encouraging, but comes with some caveats. Minnesota currently has a surplus of about $1 billion. That represents greater-than-expected tax collections from various sources, particularly from corporate and income tax collections.
The good news is that the surplus allows the legislature to pay back the remaining school shift balance. Once the revenue totals are official in February, schools will be paid back in full.
Democrats were quick to take a victory lap, claiming credit for this encouraging news, and attributing it to their tax-and-spend budget they passed last session.
However, the GOP budget generated $3 billion dollars of new tax revenue without raising taxes.
The DFL raised about $2.5 billion in taxes and fees and have only a projected $1 billion dollar surplus yet the GOP budget generated more new tax revenue through reforms and restraining the growth of government than the DFL tax-and-spend agenda.
The reality is that Minnesota's economy was on the upswing before the DFL majority budget even began.
Minnesota's unemployment rate has dropped steadily over the past couple of years, and Minnesota has recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession.
In addition, it's too early to judge what the impact of the Democrats' multi-billion dollar tax-and-spend spree will be since it just took effect in July.
Already we're seeing troubling signs.
Cargill, one of the great Fortune 500 companies here in Minnesota, opted earlier this year to expand their operation in Colorado, rather than Minnesota. Last month, another Fortune 500 company, SpartanNash, announced they were moving their headquarters to Western Michigan, citing "the positive business climate taking hold in Michigan, including a more favorable tax environment."
These are good-paying jobs that support families leaving Minnesota due to our less-than-friendly business environment. We need to be taking steps to lure more companies from Fortune 500's all the way down to local small businesses, rather than driving them away.
Alternatives to ObamaCare
With millions around the country facing canceled plans, and millions more concerned about the safety of their private information in the glitch-plagued websites, I wanted to pass along this article about what you can do if you don't wish to sign up for ObamaCare through the federal or state exchanges. Please take a moment to read the article by clicking here.
Hope you are staying warm despite the chilly weather we've had recently.