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Minnesota Republicans say extra state revenue shows no tax increase was needed

Republicans say they’re responsible for the extra $463 million in the state coffers. But Gov. Dayton says the state’s strong economic growth is the cause.

After Wednesday’s news that Minnesota collected $463 million more in revenue than projected for the fiscal year, state House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said Republicans who controlled the Legislature the previous two years can take credit for the surplus.

And he said it shows that the DFL’s recently passed tax increases weren’t needed.

State officials said much of the surplus seems to be from high-income earners who shifted income from future years into 2012 to avoid the new higher tax rates.

The surplus is slated to be repaid to school districts after previous Legislatures shifted payments to balance budgets.

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Daudt’s statement:

“Under Republican leadership, Minnesota’s economy has seen steady, consistent improvements. [Wednesday’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.”

Gov. Mark Dayton, though, said it’s the state’s strong economic growth that led to the surplus, saying in a statement that the report is:

“…great news for all Minnesotans, especially our schools and students. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minnesota had the fifth-fastest growing economy in the country in 2012. 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. More work remains, but we have made important progress.”

And state House Speaker Paul Thissen said the schools repayment is key:

“Paying back the debt previous legislatures piled up on our schools was a top priority for House Democrats from day one. We mandated in our budget that repayment be accelerated and today that commitment paid off.”