REP. HANCOCK ANALYZES LATEST STATE BUDGET FORECAST
ST. PAUL - State Representative Dave Hancock (R-Bemidji) said that Minnesota is projected to have a $1.871 billion state budget surplus for the 2016-17 budget cycle.
“Basically, this announcement means hardworking Minnesotans have been overcharged nearly $2 billion by their state government,” Hancock said. "This session we need to approve ways that will provide them with tax relief."
According to Minnesota’s economists, the fiscal news is due to higher than expected revenue collections and lower than expected state government spending.
Hancock said roughly $865 million was left unspent when the 2016-17 state budget was crafted last year. During that two-year cycle, Minnesota's taxpayers are projected to provide $42 billion in order to pay for state government programs.
Hancock noted that a significant portion of the projected surplus -about $665 million - will be sent to budget reserves and to make certain payments that are directed by state law. This means $1.2 billion is projected to be left for the Legislature to allocate.
“Let us remember that at $42 billion, Minnesota's state government is fully funded," Hancock said. "Any permanent new spending we add this year will only add to our financial obligations in the future. This is why I believe the best way to allocate this surplus is to provide real tax relief to those who created this windfall in the first place. If the
legislature deems it necessary to spend some of the $1.2 billion surplus, let us fulfill our moral obligation to our veterans by building and funding our veteran's homes."