Minnesota's February Budget forecast was released Feb 26 by Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) showing a $1.6 billion surplus for the 2022-2023 biennium. This is a significant improvement from the $1.3 billion deficit that was projected in December.
The surplus was driven primarily by a $456 million decrease in state spending on education and health care, and $1.423 billion greater-than-expected from tax collections. The forecast does not include any of significant federal funding expected to be passed by Congress in the coming weeks.
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) issued the following statement: “Minnesota’s economy is bouncing back, and will continue growing if we let it. Unfortunately, Democrats will continue pushing for completely unnecessary tax hikes that would hurt struggling businesses and families. Raising taxes will slow our economic comeback, and make it harder to bring back jobs and paychecks to where they were before the pandemic. We know the Governor’s tax hikes will not become law this year, and we can save ourselves weeks of headaches if the Governor and Democrats acknowledge that now. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and work together to pass a responsible budget without raising taxes.”
Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R-Chisago County) and Rep Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) held a news conference to react to the budget news, and provide a prebuttal to the Gov. Walz/MMB news conference. You can watch a replay of that news conference as a Facebook video.
News reports indicated that Governor Walz will push ahead with tax increases.
Minnesota government has all the money it needs. With a $1.6 billion surplus and a budget reserve of more than $2 billion, there's no reason for Gov. Walz and Democrats to continue pushing harmful tax hikes. This surplus ensures that we can take additional steps to help families and businesses who are still hurting from the shutdowns over the past year, including exempting PPP loans from state taxes.
Examples of tweets issued by DFL representatives following the news of the budget surplus:
• Rep Todd Lippert (DFL-Northfield): “The budget numbers got better today, but the lives of hundreds of thousand of Minnesotans did not get better today,” @reppaulmarquart to #WeMakeMN. There is deep need we have to address, and we can ask our wealthiest and largest corporations to pay their fair share. #mnleg"
• Rep Liz Olson (DFL-Duluth): "A serious economic recovery requires a serious investment into our people and our state. Minnesotans are still struggling from the pandemic. Investing in our schools, jobs, and infrastructure will lift Minnesotans up out of this economic crisis. #FundOurFutures #WeMakeMN"
• Rep Mike Howard (DFL-Richfield) "Our response to a rosier budget picture must not be a retreat to the comforts of the status quo- not while so many people are struggling while corporate profits soar & economic disparities widen. Minnesotans are counting on us to make investments so that ALL of us thrive. #mnleg"