ST. PAUL – As state lawmakers determine how to allocate Minnesota's projected $900 million budget surplus before session adjourns, State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) said recent economic indications suggest the need to be prudent.
"While the sky isn't falling, we need to recognize that the signs are showing slower than expected economic growth," Miller said. "This means we should be resisting the temptation to permanently increase spending as well as increase taxes – particularly on gasoline."
During the months of February and March 2016, Minnesota's net general fund receipts totaled $11 million less than projected in the February forecast. The gross domestic product forecast – which represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period – is also down.
Miller, who serves on the Minnesota House Legacy Funding Finance Committee, noted that Legacy funds have also declined by eight percent, which is a direct reflection on sales tax collections.
Miller also said that Governor Dayton is continuing his push for a transportation funding proposal that would increase the cost of your gasoline by a minimum of 16-cents per gallon. He added that at a time of fiscal uncertainty, it is the wrong approach.
"Some of these projections are sobering and we need to act accordingly," Miller said. "We need to play it safe going forward and make wise decisions with this surplus."