ST. PAUL – State Rep. Shane Mekeland, R-Clear Lake, issued the following statement in response to Minnesota Management & Budget on Friday issuing a new state economic forecast which projects a $1.6 billion surplus for the 2022-23 budget cycle. This is a sharp turnaround from the $1.3 billion shortfall projected in December for the same period.
“It is nice to see Minnesota’s economy is improving and that projections for a multi-billion-dollar shortfall that were made several months ago have not materialized,” Mekeland said. “Minnesotans deserve credit for helping our economy far surpass previous expectations and getting our state headed in the right direction. That said, we would be doing a whole lot better if the governor would ease up on his unilateral restrictions over businesses and let them safely re-open. His proposal to raise taxes by $1.7 billion is completely unnecessary and out of touch with reality. You can’t put people out of work or reduce their paychecks, as the governor has done, and then turn around and raise their taxes – especially at a time of surplus. That’s just wrong.”
MMB said the turnaround is due, in large part, to an improved U.S. economic outlook that is bolstered by large federal actions that have emerged since November and were not incorporated in earlier projections. The projected surplus also is related to a higher revenue forecast, lower state spending, and an increased surplus for the current fiscal year.