Minnesota Management and Budget officials announced that the budget forecast shows a projected budget surplus of $1.08 billion for fiscal years 2014-15, according to a statement from Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby, and Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter.
The first $246 million of the surplus will be used to complete repayment of the K-12 school property tax recognition shift, meaning all IOUs to Minnesota schools have been paid back, according to the news release. After paying back these shifts, the balance is $825 million. State spending was down by $250 million.
“This is great news for Minnesota; we have kept our promise to Minnesotans and fully paid back our schools after years of IOUs that hurt our students,” Ward said. “Minnesota’s economy is growing and we have an honestly balanced budget for the first time in a decade.”
“This strong economic growth is a testament to our productive workforce and excellent businesses,” Radinovich said. “Thanks to a strong economy and a responsibly balanced budget, we’re turning the page on a decade of gimmicks and deficits, and making progress for the people of Minnesota.”
Minnesota’s unemployment rate is down to 4.8 percent and in August, the state finished recovering all the jobs lost during the recession. During the first three quarters of 2013, businesses announced 112 expansion projects statewide. Those expansion projects will create an estimated 5,600 new jobs in Minnesota over the next two years. Minnesota was recently ranked eighth in the “Forbes 2013 List of the Best States for Business,” and had, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the fifth-fastest growing state economy in the nation last year.