MN brought in $43M more than expected the past 2 months


Minnesota got $43 million more in taxes than officials thought it would get over the past two months.

The Management and Budget office said Monday total general fund receipts (basically, how much money came in and went to the big pie known as the "General Fund") hit $3.695 billion for November and December.

They'd thought it would be more like $3.625 billion.

How'd the state end up higher?

Well the office says the money that came in from individual income tax, corporate tax and "other revenues" were higher than predicted. That actually offset what ended up being lower-than-expected final figures for sales tax receipts.

More on the general fund

The general fund is the state's single largest fund, the Management and Budget Office explains. That's where most of our individual income taxes, sales taxes, corporate, and other taxes end up. That money can then be used for a wide variety of things.

(There are other funds that have designated uses – for example, money collected for the Legacy Amendment can only be used on clean water, parks and trails, and other things.)

Overall, the state is currently forecasting a budget surplus of nearly $1.9 billion.

Around $665 million of this will be allocated to budget reserves and environmental funds, following state law enacted recently that requires a third of any surplus to be saved, in order to protect the state against deficits in the future.

That will leave about $1.2 billion for the legislators to spend on other areas they feel need extra funding.

These numbers could change by the time the forecast is updated next month.

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State revenue running ahead of expectations

Revenue to Minnesota's general fund during the last two months of 2011 beat the forecast, thanks largely to more people working. Spending remains tight, though, and sales tax receipts are lagging.