Minnesota on track for a bigger surplus than expected

(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota collect more in taxes than they expected. $820 million more.

Some Minnesotans expressed concerns that another surplus means they are being overtaxed and Senator Carla Nelson agrees.

“I think surpluses are always preferable to deficits, but it should not be too surprising that we see a surplus at a time where the DFL trifecta raised taxes by billions of dollars,” said Sen. Nelson.

But Representative Andy Smith says it can be good sign for the economy.

“We being a government doesn’t collect taxes unless people are making more money, or they are spending more money. While it shows our economy, though, it might be exactly where we want it to be. [It] is improving,” said Rep. Smith

The estimated $2.4 billion is expected to roller over into the next biennium. In the 2024 fiscal year the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget says they expect at least a $400 million more than expected out of the first quarter.

But Nelson says there’s more behind the numbers. “You know a part of that 400-million-dollar additional surplus that they are seeing this month is $150 million of tax rebates that Minnesotans did not get,” said Nelson.

Despite the where the money came from some Minnesotans already know where that money should go.

“I think they would find better use as it related to the homeless and housing as an example here in Rochester the homeless and the housing issues and that particular area as opposed to simply sending out checks to people,” said one Rochester resident.

Another resident said, “I think more programs and give some back to people.”

The legislators have a lot of thinking to do before the next session starts. Sen. nelson thinks that money should back in the pockets of Minnesotans. But Smith says he wants to also see where some of the money can be invested.

Two big agenda items for the legislature this year is the supplemental budget and the bonding bill — could some of the surplus be used for those bills?