Letter: Does surplus in this budget, mean a repeat in another year?
To the editor:
In the Dec. 13 edition of the Hastings Star Gazette, Rep. Tony Jurgens SD 54B wrote in to comment on the projected state budget surplus of $1.5 billion. Although the good news is Minnesota continues to have a growing economy under the Dayton administration, the past eight years Jurgens continues to promote rhetoric that surpluses mean citizens have been over taxed. Additionally, he promotes the idea that further tax cuts should be considered. Let's look at the truth of what economists are projecting rather than just talking points.
First, the truth is the state hit its mark on spending to ensure we didn't spend more than what would be brought in through taxes — easy logic tells you that isn't over taxation. Second, the projected surplus doesn't factor in adjustments for inflation. When factoring in inflation, state spending will increase by an estimated $1.162 billion, which is roughly 75 percent of the projected 2020-21 surplus.
This means Minnesota will most likely have less than a surplus which is 1 percent greater than its overall budget. It is also expected the economy will begin slowing in late 2019 through 2023. Hardly evidence to justify further tax cuts which have predominantly gone to corporations and the rich this past biennium.
Another interesting note is that Jurgens has again declined to take part in the annual nonpartisan Legislative Breakfast Panel hosted by the League of Women Voters on Jan. 5 at the River Oaks Golf club in Cottage Grove from 9-11:30 a.m. All legislators from the Woodbury to Hastings area were invited. He has scheduled his own "listening session" during the same time period at a different location. He pulled this same stunt in January 2018. Jurgens talks a better story about working across aisles then he delivers. He fails to live up to his promises.
Residents may attend the LWV forum to receive a well-rounded discussion from area legislators who value a nonpartisan exchange of ideas. Check out the Woodbury/Cottage Grove LWV website for details.