Budget Forecast: On Thin Ice

The Office of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released the November Economic Forecast Thursday showing a $1.086 billion surplus for Fiscal Year 2014-15. The surplus is due largely to Minnesota’s continued economic recovery and projected state revenue increases from the Democrats’ $2.1 billion tax increase.

While good news on the surface, and Democrats were quick to take credit, it’s important to note that:

1.Minnesota’s economic recovery has occurred under the four years of budgets and economic policies of Former Governor Pawlenty and the GOP Legislature’s 2012-13 budget.

2.The Democrats’ budget has only been in effect for four months; its impact on our economy is yet to be judged.

3.Projections of state tax revenue are largely “static” and do not take into account the full extent of behavior changes that will inevitably result from the Democrats’ tax increases and could reduce the actual revenue generated.

Republican leaders also noted the irony that Democrats passed a $2.1 billion tax increase in their 2014-15 budget and now have a $1 billion surplus – with Democrats, state government wins.

In contrast, the Republican majority’s Fiscal Year 2012-13 budget produced a surplus of $3.4 billion without raising taxes – with Republicans, our economy has been recovering and families won.

“The continued growth in the economy has resulted in higher revenues,” said Senate Republican Leader David Hann (Eden Prairie). “This surplus calls into question the wisdom of burdening the economy with higher tax rates. When the session begins in February, we need to revisit the Democrat tax increases and fix their mistakes. They were clearly unnecessary.”

Republican legislative leaders also pointed out that Governor Dayton and Democrats in the legislature increased spending by nearly 10 percent in their overall budget including $90 million dollars for a new Senate office building and salary increases for politicians.

“While Governor Dayton and Democrats celebrate taking more money they can waste, Minnesota moms and dads are working two to three jobs to pay for the cost of everyday life,” said House Republican Leader Kurt Daudt (Crown). “Even worse, Minnesota families are weighed down by the uncertainty of health care costs and coverage as a result of Governor Dayton’s botched implementation of ObamaCare in Minnesota. While Governor Dayton and Democrats are here for themselves, Republicans are at the Capitol, fighting to protect hardworking taxpayers.”

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Prepared and Paid for by the Republican Party of Minnesota
Keith Downey, Chair
Not Authorized By Any Candidate or Candidate’s Committee

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