ST. PAUL – Our state’s latest fiscal forecast has brought good news, as state economists recently announced that Minnesota can expect a surplus of $1.871 billion for the 2016-17 budget cycle.
“The report is positive, but lawmakers must act with caution,” said State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg). “The key to sustaining these numbers is forcing the Legislature to be fiscally responsible.”
According to Minnesota’s economists, the good financial news is due to higher than expected revenue collections and lower than expected state government spending.
During the two-year cycle, Minnesota's taxpayers are projected to provide $42 billion in order to pay for state government programs. Miller noted that a significant portion of the projected surplus - about $665 million - will be sent to budget reserves and to make other payments that are directed by state law. This means $1.2 billion is projected to be left for the Legislature to allocate.
“Not that long ago, previous legislatures acted irresponsibly by spending away a huge surplus,” Miller said. “The last thing we need is a supplemental spending bill that will permanently increase our state's future financial obligations."
"Our top two priorities next session must be enacting a long-term road and bridge funding proposal that does not raise taxes on drivers, and providing real tax cuts for hardworking Minnesotans," Miller concluded.