A new economic report out today shows Minnesota tax collections exceeded expectations by $463 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
The Department of Management and Budget (MMB) said net general fund receipts for FY 2013 are now estimated to total $17.927 billion. That’s 2.7 percent more than February’s forecast. Revenue from April through June was $318 million more than the forecast. Both individual and corporate income tax receipts exceeded the forecast, according to the agency, while sales tax receipts fell below projections.
Under legislation signed into law this year, the closing balance will be used to reduce the $874 million owed to school districts from earlier budget agreements. MMB is required to estimate that closing balance by Sept. 30.
The report does not reflect new tax increases, which lawmakers passed this year. Most of those increases took effect July 1.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton issued a news release describing the report as “great news for all Minnesotans, especially our schools and students.
“Our state’s strong economic growth has enabled us to work our way out of previous budget deficits and repay most of what we owed our school districts,” Dayton said. “More work remains, but we have made important progress.”
Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, offered a similarly positive response.
“Paying back the debt previous legislatures piled up on our schools was a top priority for House Democrats from day one,” Thissen said. “We mandated in our budget that repayment be accelerated and today that commitment paid off.”
But House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, stressed that FY 2013 fell under the two-year budget Republicans passed when they controlled the Legislature.
“Under Republican leadership, Minnesota’s economy has seen steady, consistent improvements,” Daudt said in a news release. “Today’s news is yet another signal that what we did works. Democrats have no excuse to raise taxes when indications show we can bring in additional revenue to the state and fund our priorities by not raising taxes and allowing the economy to grow. Common-sense budget solutions and Minnesotans’ hard work delivered these results. At a time when we should be encouraging those efforts, Democrats chose to undermine them.”
Here’s the report: