The Minnesota State Economist announced this morning that the state budget surplus, the amount of money the government overtaxed us by, has grown by a $181 Million. Governor Walz and the DFL House have a list of new spending projects lined up to spend the surplus on, while the Republican Senate wants to spend some and give back $1 Billion of the money.
What you aren't hearing about in the halls of the Capitol is that the state government is actually overtaxing us by a lot more than the $1.5 Billion figure stated in the MMB report. The state government is taking tax money from hardworking Minnesotans and putting it in a massive reserve account that tops $2.5 Billion. They're trying to trick us with money they stole from our pockets. This is money not being used for current spending.
Senate Republican Leader Paul Gazelka recently bragged about keeping the budget reserve account high. His caucus has not put forward a plan to give back that money to the private sector as of the date of this article. However, Rep Cal Bahr who is a member of the more conservative New House Republican Caucus, sent out an email to constituents claiming the amount in reserves is surplus funds and should be given back. His email was sent before the February Forecast was released today which is why his number is a little lower.
Action 4 Liberty calls for the entire $4 Billion to be returned to Minnesota taxpayers immediately. Senate Republicans need to lead on this issue and deliver something for the Republican base heading into an important election season.
One thing we noticed while analyzing the economic report today is that the "cash flow" account was added to the same line item as the "budget reserves". These are typically separate line items on the budget. Was this done purposely to mask how much money they are holding onto in a rainy day fund? The cash flow account is only $350 Million. Adding the two categories together gives the impression that a large amount of money is needed for current cash flow for government functions.