Douglas County legislators want to use budget surplus for tax relief

DFL Gov. Tim Walz proposes investing in programs that help families and to provide one-time checks to middle and low-income residents.

EP Minnesota Government
Paul Brady/pabrady63 -

DOUGLAS COUNTY — In the wake of a new budget forecast, legislators representing parts of Douglas County want the state to provide more tax relief.
On Monday, Feb. 27, Minnesota’s Department of Management and Budget released its February revenue forecast , which provides information and an outlook for Minnesota’s financial picture. The report shows the surplus holding steady at $17.5 billion, with inflation accounting for $1.4 billion going back into state spending automatically.
“The $17.5 billion surplus is astronomical and too high not to give it back to hardworking Minnesotans," Sen. Torrey Westrom, R-Alexandria said in a statement. "But as we have seen throughout this session, Democrats have zero interest in returning this money. They are instead trying to raise taxes and look for new ways to hold taxpayers hostage, despite the historic surplus. As we craft our state’s next two-year budget, we must focus on using the surplus to protect Minnesota families, seniors, main street businesses and farmers. It’s long overdue to give this money back.”


Sen. Jordan Rasmusson, R-Fergus Falls, made a similar statement.
“While government coffers are growing, many Minnesotans are still struggling to afford everyday expenses and need immediate relief," said Rasmusson. "Instead of tax hikes, we should be discussing tax relief, including the full repeal of the tax on Social Security income. Unfortunately, Democrats are still trying to increase taxes to pay for their liberal agenda. Minnesotans deserve real financial relief, and Senate Republicans will continue to fight to deliver just that.”

Jordan Rasmusson

DFL leaders favors using the surplus to increase education spending, provide child care support for families, offer child tax credits and affordable housing subsidies, and create a paid family leave program.
At a news conference, DFL Gov. Tim Walz proposed investing in programs that help families and to provide one-time checks to middle and low-income residents.
“I think there is strong agreement among Minnesotans: Get us some of this money back, reduce the costs for us, invest in the things that build this state, get your work done on time and then go home,” Walz said.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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