Minnesota started the new year with good news from the Office of Management and Budget on the state’s budget forecast. Minnesota’s net general fund receipts for November and December are now estimated at $833 million (20.2 percent) more than forecast in the November budget forecast. However, a substantial portion of December collections are Pass-Through Entity Tax (PTE) estimated payments that will be credited against business owners’ individual income tax liability, therefore lowering income tax final payments next year. Still, MMB estimates a net increase of about $471 million from this timing shift, in addition to the $7.7 billion surplus projected in the November budget forecast.
An official update to the November forecast is due at the end of February. That forecast will be used by the legislature to make any adjustments to the state’s tax code and spending obligations that were passed last June.
Most educational organizations, like MREA, feel strongly that this is a time for systemic change in our education funding system. While each education organization has its own individual platforms (see MREA’s platform) that we advocate for, the education organizations have united on two key points:
- The state needs to index the basic formula to inflation.
- The state needs to eliminate the special education cross-subsidy.
These two items would help bring more stability to school finance, and districts would be able to budget better without having these unknown factors in the equation.
Together, MREA, MSBA, AMSD, MASE, MASA, MASBO, MASSP, MESPA, and SEE are fighting for these two initiatives in the 2022 legislative session. MREA has signed on to a joint letter to Governor Walz, Lieutenant Governor Flannagan, and Commissioner Mueller, asking them to consider these as their highest priorities for the session.
Superintendents can join the Tuesday morning Legislative Updates with MREA Legislative Affairs Director Sam Walseth starting February 1. Check your email to register for these member-only webinar updates.