One of the biggest questions for the rest of the 2020 session surrounds the fate of our state’s $1.513 billion surplus for the 2020-21 biennium.
At least $1.1 billion of the surplus is carry-forward funding from 2018-19. This means that $1.1 billion (or 75 percent) of the projected $1.513 budget surplus for this biennium comes from policies and budget procedures put in place by a Republican-controlled House in 2017-18.
On the other hand, the budget put forward by House Democrats in 2019 included more than $12 billion in tax increases over the next four years – making gas, health care, and everyday goods and services more expensive for Minnesota families. The Democrats’ proposal would have increased the tax burden on families of every income level.
The fact Republicans pushed back on the Democrats taxing and spending last year is paying off. If we had not held them in check, those surplus dollars would have been long gone by now. Instead, with a $1.513 billion surplus, tax relief is in order this year so we can put the over-collected dollars back in the hands of people.
Our first step should be to eliminate the state tax on social security. Minnesota is one of only 13 states that has a state tax on social security, and we have an opportunity to fix that this year. That is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of tax relief that should be delivered this year and look for more details on that subject soon.
In other news, I mentioned in a recent email that House Democrats approved two gun bills last week. There was bipartisan opposition to both bills (H.F. 8 and H.F. 9) because they violate the rights of law-abiding gun owners and cut out due process.
I also mentioned in that email how fortunate we are to have a Senate Republican majority that opposes these bills and can keep them from advancing. I heard the Senate Republican majority leader on the radio this week saying these bills remain non-starters in that body. I encourage citizens to reach out to their Senator to thank them for standing up for our Second Amendment rights.
The anti-gun extremists will stop at almost nothing to push their agenda and I don’t expect them to stop soon, so it would be good to let our friends in the Senate to know we appreciate them standing strong on this issue.
Until next time, thanks for all the feedback and look for more on tax relief soon as we work on plans to return the surplus dollars to the Minnesotans who earned them in the first place.