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Minnesota collected $212M more in taxes than it expected

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The amount of money in Minnesota's general fund is $212 million more than expected, the state's Management and Budget Office said Monday.

The fund – which is the main pool of tax money the state uses for operating costs – totaled about $3.5 billion during the final two months of 2014, which was above what officials had predicted earlier in the fall.

Why?

Well, the office says individual income tax provided the biggest boost in additional revenue. That accounted for about $166 million of the unpredicted extra.

In addition, retail sales have exceeded expectations in recent reports, the office says. This may be because really cheap gas prices have freed up money for people to spend elsewhere.

Click here to read the full report.

The state's lawmakers are back in session, and for the next few months will be debating what to do with what is already a projected $1 billion surplus. Both the Republicans and Democrats have their own ideas about where the state's money should go.

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