Poll: Give the surplus back to Minnesotans
The state announced a budget surplus today of $7.7 billion! This represents the largest surplus in state history and is 15% of the state’s two-year budget. It’s a projected surplus but almost $4 billion of it is already in the bank. And we have the healthiest rainy day savings account in history as a back stop. Bottom line: the state is collecting way too much money from citizens and businesses and rates need to be cut. The poll results below confirm that’s what Minnesotans expect from Gov. Tim Walz and the legislature.
According to the latest Thinking Minnesota poll, Minnesotans prefer tax cuts and debt retirement to spending by a two-to-one margin when asked how the legislature should use a projected budget surplus in 2022. 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 what will likely be the largest budget surplus in history. Only 28% chose greater investments in government programs such as education and welfare.
“The message for policymakers today on the surplus is clear — no more spending,” said John Hinderaker, president of Center of the American Experiment. “Between the federal COVID money and now this overcollection of taxes, Minnesotans understand it’s time for fiscal restraint at the Capitol in 2022.”
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 Nov. 30 and Dec. 2. It has a margin of error of ±4.38%.
The exact question and responses follow:
As you may know, the state of Minnesota will likely have the largest budget surplus in history. With this in mind, how should the 2022 state legislature use the state surplus?
- 28% GREATER INVESTMENT IN GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS SUCH AS EDUCATION AND WELFARE
- 24% PERMANENT TAX CUTS FOR MINNESOTANS
- 21% PAYING OFF STATE DEBT
- 12% ONE-TIME TAX REBATES FOR MINNESOTANS
- 10% PAYING CASH FOR CAPITAL PROJECTS INSTEAD OF BORROWING MONEY
- * DO NOTHING
- 4% DON’T KNOW
- 1% REFUSED
Fifty percent of Democrats in the poll think the surplus should be spent on government programs, while 39% of Republicans and 29% of Independents made permanent tax cuts their top choice. More poll results will be published in the January issue of Thinking Minnesota Magazine. Click here for a free subscription.