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State's new budget reality will affect Minnesotans for years

Minnesota is facing a projected $188 million deficit over the next 18 months, and the state’s deficit is expected to grow to $586 million in the following two-year budget cycle from 2020 to 2021.

The deficit numbers were announced Tuesday as part of the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) Office release of the state’s November Budget and Economic Forecast. MMB officials say the deficits are due to a reduced U.S. economic growth forecast and impacts of enacted legislation during the 2017 legislative session.

“We are very concerned that this forecast is just the first of many state deficits that could total billions of dollars. These deficits will be due to the massive tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthiest Minnesotans by legislative leaders earlier this year. Coupled with the national Republican tax plan, which cuts $178 million in children’s health care and decimates other important programs, Minnesota workers and their families will be left carrying the burden for those who benefited from the Republican budgets,” MAPE President Chet Jorgenson said.

The 2017 budget passed by the Minnesota Legislature included several provisions that will undermine Minnesota’s long-term economic well-being. The corporate property tax cut will, over time, disproportionately benefit owners of buildings like the IDS Tower and the Mall of America and cost over $1 billion over the next 10 years.

Lawmakers also repealed an automatic annual tax increase on cigarettes sold in Minnesota which will cost the state nearly $300 million over the next decade.