New year, same surplus, same message: Give It Back!
The latest Thinking Minnesota poll was conducted last week, and the top choice for what to do with the budget surplus for Minnesotans was once again permanent tax cuts. Twenty-seven percent of respondents chose permanent tax cuts and 19% chose a one-time tax rebate when asked what should be done with the $9 billion surplus, the largest in state history. Twenty-three percent chose to use the surplus to fully fund K-12 schools.
The recent poll (conducted November 28-30, 2022) matches a similar Thinking Minnesota poll from last year where fifty-seven percent of respondents chose permanent tax cuts (24%), a one-time tax rebate (12%) or paying off state debt (21%) when asked how the 2022 state legislature should use the budget surplus. Because of legislative inaction in 2022, most of the surplus remains in the state’s bank accounts.
“Minnesotans haven’t changed their minds about the surplus — they still want their money back,” said John Hinderaker, president of Center of the American Experiment. “Gov. Walz and the legislature should address tax policy first before they saddle taxpayers with new permanent spending.”
The Thinking Minnesota poll is a quarterly survey conducted for Center of the American Experiment by Meeting Street Insights, a Charleston, South Carolina-based polling company. For this report, Meeting Street interviewed 500 Minnesotans between November 28-30, 2022. It has a margin of error of ±4.38%.
The exact question and responses follow:
As you may know, the state of Minnesota currently has the largest budget surplus in history. With this in mind, what should be done with the $9 billion surplus?
27% PERMANENT TAX CUTS
23% FULLY FUND K-12 PUBLIC SCHOOLS
19% ONE-TIME TAX REBATES
13% INCREASE SPENDING ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING
6% INCREASE SPENDING ON CHILDCARE SUBSIDIES
5% INCREASE SPENDING ON PUBLIC SAFETY
5% DON’T KNOW
Eighty-nine of the 114 respondents who chose “fully fund K-12 public schools” as their choice for the surplus identified as Democrats. More poll results will be published in the January issue of Thinking Minnesota Magazine. Click here for a free subscription.