OPINION: Economic conditions improving
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 4:18 AM
State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) said he was pleased that Minnesota's economy continues to move forward.
"After years of consecutive budget deficits, there's little doubt that the legislation passed by the Republican majority two years ago has led to this positive economic news," Davids said.
"We now have not had a negative budget forecast since 2010, and the economy continues to dramatically improve with each update."
When Davids took over as chair of the Minnesota House Taxes Committee, the 2012-13 budget deficit stood at $6.2 billion. Under two years of Republican control that amount now stands as a $2.8 billion surplus.
According to the Minnesota's Department of Management and Budget, the February budget forecast shows a projected budget deficit of $627 million for fiscal years 2014-15.
This is an improvement of $463 million from the November budget forecast that showed a projected deficit of $1.1 billion.
As for the current biennium that ends this summer, Minnesota is projected to have a positive balance of $295 million. Current law directs $290 million to buy back the K-12 school shifts, leaving a balance of $801 million remaining.
Also under current law, the residual $5 million is put towards the state's budget reserve bringing that balance to $649 million.
"Can anyone begin to argue that we're better off today than we were two years ago," Davids wondered. "We were once projected to have a $4.4 billion budget deficit for the upcoming budget cycle. Now that amount is down $627 mi
"This surplus is a result of not seeing taxes raised on the job providers in Minnesota," Davids said. "There's little doubt that the Democrat majority will be raising taxes on job providers and every other poor and middle class Minnesotan this session, and for what reason?"
Davids said the 2016-17 budget cycle also shows a $782 million budget surplus, meaning if the Legislature did nothing and continued with the status quo, Minnesota would be in outstanding economic shape two years from now.