Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan released a new budget that considers a budget forecast projecting an increased surplus.

An analysis from the Minnesota Management and Budget office detailed that the state’s budget surplus has increased to roughly $9.3 billion.

In their new proposal, Walz and Flanagan hiked the total of individual checks given to residents of the state. Previously, the governor’s office highlighted $175 to single tax filers who make less than $164,400 and $350 to married couples who make less than $273,470 per year.

However, now a single filer will be eligible for $500 and $1,000 for married couples, using the same income requirements.

“With a historic budget surplus, we have an opportunity to invest in the future of our state and the people who made our economy strong in the first place,” Walz said in a tweet.

In addition to the checks, more than $200 million would be directed towards recruiting and training frontline workers.

Republicans in the Legislature argued that the enormous amount of funds should allow for tax cuts throughout the state, creating a permanent use of the extra money.

“Minnesota is one of just 13 states who tax social security benefits and is partially surrounded by states who don’t – Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and South Dakota. Estimates show for the 410,900 Minnesotans who pay this tax, the average relief would be $1,313. Eliminating the social security tax would put $539 million back into the hands of beneficiaries. Bills introduced to eliminate the social security tax in the legislature have had bipartisan support,” State Senator Mike Goggin (R-Red Wing) said.

“The massive surplus continues to get larger, meaning the state government is simply collecting too much money from the taxpayers. It’s time to give the money back to the people with permanent tax relief for Minnesotan workers and senior citizens,” added Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-Winona).

Minnesota also ranks among states with the highest income tax, according to a new report from the Tax Foundation.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Minnesota Sun and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Penny Flanagan” by Office of Governor Tim Walz and Penny Flanagan.