TOTAL SURPLUS NOW $12.6 BILLION; GIVE IT ALL BACK
St. Paul – Today, the Minnesota Management and Budget Department (MMB) announced that Minnesota state government now has a projected budget surplus of $9.2 billion. This represents a $1.5 billion increase from last November when the state surplus was projected to be a record $7.7 billion.
When added together, the $9.2 billion surplus, the state’s rainy-day fund, and the cash reserve account now total $12.6 billion. The New House Republican Caucus offered their reaction to this latest news:
“Four words: give it all back,” said Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa). “Government is fully funded through June of 2023. We don’t need more spending and we don’t need more reserve money. This constant stream of over-taxation is crushing hardworking Minnesotans. We need to eliminate certain taxes, simplify our taxes, and lower the overall tax burden. Our caucus is proposing major tax reform to prevent government from overtaxing the people.”
The New House Republican Caucus proposal would eliminate four major state taxes: the tax on Social Security, the sick tax, death tax, and the alternative minimum tax. Additionally, the four representatives are proposing significant cuts to state income taxes.
“The halls of government are filled with $12.6 billion of taxpayer money that belongs to you,” said Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal). “Collecting your money seems to be the only kind of efficiency government cares about. Families need rainy-day funds, governments do not. As long as massive reserve accounts are stored up, cutting waste and unnecessary spending will never be a priority for our government. We need to return this money to the people and force government to tighten its belt like we all do.”
The $1.5 billion increase in projected state funds comes primarily from higher income revenues, consumer spending, and corporate profits.
“Minnesota has not returned to pre-pandemic job numbers and our economic recovery continues to lag behind the national average,” said Rep. Cal Bahr (R-East Bethel). “Why is that? The answer is obvious; our taxes are chasing people out of the state, and we have embraced an economy that pays people not to work. If we don’t get this $12.6 billion surplus out of government hands and back to the people, then we will continue to flirt with ruin.”
Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) concluded, “For years, our leaders have endlessly sounded the alarm on the state’s ability to weather fiscal storms. They’ve said we need to store away billions of taxpayer dollars in anticipation of fiscal disaster. Well, the last two years have proved to be one of the biggest disasters of our lifetime. Not only did the state survive, but it became grotesquely rich and bloated. What happened to the people during all this? Were the families of Minnesota protected from this disaster? No. Government saved itself at our expense.”
Rep. Steve Drazkowski (Republican-Mazeppa), Rep. Tim Miller (Republican-Prinsburg), Rep. Cal Bahr (Republican-East Bethel), and Rep. Jeremy Munson (Republican-Lake Crystal) are members of the New House Republican Caucus.