After last week’s news that the State has a 329-million dollar budget surplus this year, a local lawmaker is calling for a continued effort to provide tax relief for middle-class Minnesotans.

State Representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) says he views the surplus as an overpayment of taxes.

“If you go to my grocery store, when I had one, and I charged you five dollars more for your order, you would expect me to give it back to you. It’s the same thing when the state and federal government over charges us for taxes. We have more than we need. Should we spend it or should we give it back? I think we have an obligation to give it back.”

Last year lawmakers approved a Tax Bill that included nearly 650-million dollars in tax relief, which included money for those on Social Security, college students and small business owners along with cities and counties.

Gunther adds that further tax relief will pay dividends by strengthening the economy and creating economic development.

“We’re assuming that everybody’s going to spend that money on something. That means those people will make profit on that and in-turn will have to pay taxes. It goes through our system in Minnesota seven to nine times. So, seven to nine people will make extra profit and pay more taxes. That’s why we’re gonna pay our debt from the federal tax credit.”

He also said that the tax relief has helped lower the states unemployment rate, which sat at 3.1-percent at the end of 2017, the lowest level since 2000.