FOSSTON, MN—The Office of Management and Budget (MMB) released their November Economic Forecast Thursday, revealing a projected surplus of $1.871 billion for Fiscal Years 2016-2017. State law puts $594 million into the state budget reserve, leaving an overall projected balance of $1.206 billion.
“Such a large surplus demonstrates that Minnesotans are overtaxed,” said Rep. Steve Green (R-Fosston). “It is my hope that a large portion of this surplus can go towards tax relief for hard working families as well as a transportation plan that addresses our needs without increasing the already heavy tax burden on the middle class.”
"Today's budget news is an opportunity to put Minnesotans first and make their lives better by letting them keep more of their hard-earned dollars," said House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown). "Instead of increasing government budgets, let's increase family budgets by providing middle-class tax relief during the next session."
During the press conference, Governor Mark Dayton also declared his signature proposal to increase the state's gas tax "dead."
"I'm pleased that after nine months Governor Dayton has finally come around to our position and ruled out a harmful gas tax increase," added Speaker Daudt. "I'm disappointed that House Democrats refuse to commit to Minnesotans that they won't try to raise the gas tax, and look forward to working with the Senate and the governor to pass our long-term transportation plan that invests $7 billion into roads and bridges without a tax increase."
In 2015, the House passed a 10 year, $7 billion transportation plan that would fix 15,500 lane miles of road and 330 bridges statewide with bipartisan support. The governor and Democratic lawmakers blocked the measure from becoming law because of their insistence on a gas tax increase.