Projected surplus shows state taxes are too high

The 2013 Minnesota Legislature went a little nuts with the tax hikes. That is reflected in a state budget forecast released Thursday that predicts a $1 billion surplus.

The state still owes money to the public school system, because the state uses accounting shifts to hold back funding from schools during lean times. Now, the state will be able to fully repay the system.

Left over will be $825 million. It is more than obvious that this money should go to eradicate tax increases that just kicked in. These include sales taxes on farm equipment repairs, telecommunications supplies and commercial warehousing services.

Gov.?Mark Dayton says he will wait until late February to offer budget recommendations, because a fresh forecast then will offer more complete information. We can understand his desire to be prudent, but he should make clear now – today – that unnecessary taxation will be one of his targets. If it is not, he will repeat the mistake of lawmakers who passed the new taxes last session.

These fresh taxes represent an undue burden on businesses and consumers. Sucking money out of the private sector will come back to haunt the state. It makes Minnesota a less-competitive place to do business, hurts job creation and punishes those who are the engines – large and small – of society. Lawmakers should look to remove the burdens.