The Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) office released its annual November budget forecast Dec. 5 with an estimated surplus of $1.332 billion for the 2020-21 biennium.

The forecast, which is updated twice each year to reflect the state’s revenues and expenditures, will be used to guide the consideration of a supplemental budget during the upcoming legislative session.

“I am encouraged by the budget forecast, which shows the state of our economy is strong,” said District 16 Sen. Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls. “We must approach the budget surplus with a responsible mindset. When the legislature convenes in February, I am optimistic we will consider policies that will benefit Minnesotans including social security tax reductions for senior citizens, section 179 tax relief for farmers, school safety improvements, road and bridge improvements and expansions and a responsible bonding bill.” 

In accordance with Minnesota law, the forecasted surplus accounts for an automatic transfer to the state’s budget reserve, now fully funded at $2.359 billion. The legislature has been intentional about refilling the reserve, and this is the first time it is fully funded.

The legislative session is scheduled to convene Feb.11, 2020.

“My colleagues and I will continue to lead on middle- class tax relief and responsible spending that funds Minnesotans’ priorities but does not grow government or inflate our already massive budget,” said Dahms.

District 16A Rep. Chris Swedzinski of Ghent issued the following statement regarding the report.

“It’s good to see Republican-led tax cuts continue to produce strong results in helping our economy soar,” Swedzinski said. “Our state’s reserve account is now fully funded at nearly $2.5 billion and tax relief should be a top priority for the 2020 session. We could start by repealing the Democrats’ tax on health care they insisted on extending earlier this year. “We also need to fix the Section 179 depreciation issue where farmers and other business owners are getting walloped by state income taxes. In any case, tax increases should be non-starters this session.”