$17.6 billion = nearly $6,000 for every Minnesota taxpayer

Earlier today, the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) announced that the Minnesota government will have an extra $17.6 billion to work with in the 2024-2025 biennium. This is up from the $9.25 billion announced in February this year.

But to provide more detail, the $17 billion is not from the 2023-2023 biennium alone. Some of that money — although not a huge proportion — is from the 2024-2025 biennium.

In February of this year, MMB announced a $9.25 billion surplus for the 2022-2023 biennium. Some of that money was spent in the last session. However, legislators could not agree on what to do with the rest of the surplus, which left $7 billion on the table.

And since the February tax revenue collections have outpaced the forecast every month, bringing the surplus to $11.6 billion, which will be carried forward to the 2024-2025 biennium. But that number does not consider the budget reserve — which currently stands at $2.9 billion — as well as the stadium reserve and cash flow Account. Altogether, the 2022-2023 biennium surplus stands at $15.2 billion.

In February, MMB also estimated a $5 billion surplus — revenue minus spending — for the 2024-2025 biennium. But with reduced spending and higher tax revenues, that number is now up to $6 billion.

The total surplus expected for the 2024-2025 biennium is, therefore, $18 billion. And when the budget reserve, stadium reserve, and cash flow account are included, the total comes to $21.5 billion.

Putting the numbers in context

$17.6 billion is a lot of money, but it is especially impressive when put in context.

  • As a proportion of the budget: In the 2024-2025 biennium, the Minnesota government is expected to spend $54 billion. The surplus, therefore, equals about a third of the total budget.
  • Per capita: According to the US Census Bureau, Minnesota has a population of 5.7 million. If the surplus were divided equally among all Minnesotans, each person would get about $3,100. For a family of four, that amounts to $12,400.
  • Per taxpayer: According to the most recent data, Minnesota registered 3 million income taxpayers in 2019. If the surplus were divided equally among all taxpaying Minnesotans, each would get $5,860.

With rising costs, think about what you would do with an extra $6,000 in your pocket.