MINNEAPOLIS, MN-“Give it back!” The Republican Party cries. They are on a mission, to educate the public about the nearly 2 billion dollar surplus here in Minnesota. The party has been using social media as well as a TV commercial that is causing quite a stir. Alpha News sat down with the chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, Keith Downey, to ask him why the GOP wants lawmakers to give the surplus back. Downey claims that this about “putting family budgets over the government’s budget,” stating, “…when taxpayers have been overcharged – literally 1.9 billion dollars, we think it is only fair that compared to spending that down at the state government in St. Paul, that we would actually return it to the taxpayers.”
Alpha News attempted to reach out to the chair of the DFL Party, Ken Martin, who could not be reached for comment on this issue.
The debate does not end once legislators decide whether or not to give the current surplus back. Downey explained this surplus is what is known as “structural”, meaning that while the current surplus is 1.9 billion dollars, it will be 3.1 billion dollars in the next budget. In addition to the Democratic-proposed 6 billion dollar tax increase, this would lead to a roughly 5 billion dollar surplus. Downey states, “When the public actually understands that kind of spending spree, and how implausible it is that the Democrats are proposing on this huge spending increase, I think they’ll be on the side of our ‘Give it Back’ campaign.”
Downey says that it is up to the legislators to decide whether the money goes back to the taxpayers, and how. Representative Greg Davids of Preston, who serves as the Chair of the House Tax Committee said that there were already requests in place for over 8 billion dollars in new spending, some in the form of tax credits.