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Minnesota predicts $876 million surplus

All the predictions were for yet another big state deficit for the next two-year cycle, but early reports this morning are saying that the new forecast calls for an $876 million surplus for the state of Minnesota.

The Star Tribune and MPR, after talking to highly placed sources in advance of this morning’s 11:30 a.m. official announcement, are reporting the surprising surplus.

At least some of the surplus will go to replenishing the state’s depleted reserve fund, which was used to help balance the recent state shortfalls.

Sources said there still appears to be a deficit in the following two-year cycle.

The paper said sources consider this November forecast a signpost, but the Legislature will look more closely at another forecast coming in February, soon after the new Legislature convenes.

Check back later for news developments and analysis by Doug Grow.

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Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 12/01/2011 - 11:17 am.

    Quick! Slash our immoral taxes before the Democrats find a way to spend all that money!

  2. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 12/01/2011 - 11:18 am.

    Interesting that that is about what Ziggidy do dah needs for his new stadium.

  3. Submitted by Michele Olson on 12/01/2011 - 11:39 am.

    How much of that surplus is the Legacy Fund? Also, with that kind of surplus, what was all the drama for in the spring?

  4. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 12/01/2011 - 12:29 pm.

    Let’s see..5.3 million Minnesotans means the upper 1% is 53,000. Divide the surplus among the upper 1% means a check of over $16,000 for each of them. Situation resolved…courtesy of Zellers & Koch.

  5. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 12/01/2011 - 01:39 pm.

    @#2
    Good point.

    I, personally, will not be counting my chickens before they hatch.

  6. Submitted by Pat Igo on 12/01/2011 - 02:41 pm.

    Good, sound fiscal management, by the majority.

  7. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 12/01/2011 - 03:03 pm.

    #5 Rachel, noting wrong with being skeptical until the projection is actual cash, but these projections are generally pretty accurate. We’d have taken it seriously if the expectation of a $500 million to $1 billion shortfall had turned out. Let’s not pretend good news isn’t good news.

  8. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 12/01/2011 - 03:31 pm.

    If this is a constitutional amendment, I don’t think any of it can be used for general purposes. I know there was talk of it, but that is a serious violation of its intent.
    Do you KNOW what the Legacy fund supports? The projects it supports create good, well paying jobs, as well as provide money for deeply needed projects.
    You can look it up.
    I really hate the evidenceless cynicism here. It’s all directed toward the belief that government always fails. Which is not true, but those who believe it ensure that government fails by cutting funds. A setup.

  9. Submitted by Michael Corcoran on 12/01/2011 - 04:05 pm.

    Huge Republican victory…Campaign ’12 is now all about economic growth and keeping Dayton’s tax hike proposal buried in the dustbin of history, where it belongs.

  10. Submitted by Francis Ferrell on 12/01/2011 - 04:58 pm.

    Attention all you MinnPost commenters:

    Not so fast with the comments and devious ways to spend the ‘alleged’ surplus! Let’s get the surplus revenue in the state Treasury before we allocate this “forecasted” cash influx.

    Something does feel right about this and I for one want to see the GOP/T-Bag Legislature balance the state budget first, reform the tax system, and get the stadium issue done with WITHOUT the benefit of this surplus. Do that and the good [revenue] times will roll again. Think about it! It’s old fashion Minnesota common horse sense applied to real MN life. That’s the way it should be.

  11. Submitted by Jim Bernstein on 12/01/2011 - 05:34 pm.

    Actually, its a win for Gov. Dayton – if the forecast holds. Governors get credit for good things and catch the flack for the bad – no matter whether they deserve either. Legislators can chime in with a “me too” to seize credit with good news but governors get the praise. Of course, no legislature has ever said its collectively to blame for bad news, its all the governor’s doing then.

    Imagine, if the Republican in the Legislature were astute enough to accept Gov. Dayton’s simple, minimal tax plan, imagine how much better off our state would be!

  12. Submitted by George Kimball on 12/01/2011 - 08:04 pm.

    Hardly a “huge Republican victory,” #9, as the mix of Democratic governor with Republican legislature meant mostly impasse during the session, in case you did’t notice. The sudden surplus is a surprise to everyone, or did I miss a Republican Party surplus prediction news conference? It only goes to show that revenue projections aren’t an exact science. Either party taking credit for this would not only be presumptuous but pretentious, as well.

  13. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 12/03/2011 - 07:38 pm.

    Just curious why no one is asking any questions?

    Where did it come from?
    Is this a 1 time event?
    Why didn’t they see this rise coming earlier?
    Did the treasurer wake up Monday to find a $876M check?
    Is there a trend line? What does it look like?
    Was this driven buy all those wealthy people creating jobs? or people just creating their own business?
    Shouldn’t it be used to pay back the smoke and mirrors of July?

    In short: Wouldn’t it be nice to know what is different than plan/forecast and why? Before making far-fetched assumptions!

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