ST. PAUL (WJON News) -- Republicans in the Minnesota State Legislature are calling for rebate checks for all Minnesotans who have filed income taxes.

Senate Republicans say their proposal would give half of the state's projected $17.5 billion surplus back to taxpayers.

The bill provides joint filers with a $4,400 check and single filers with a $2,200 check. The rebates would be one-time checks that would not be subject to state income taxes.

Republican Senator Jeff Howe of Rockville says,

'yesterday's announcement of a $17.5 billion surplus shows that Minnesotans are over-taxed and that further underscores the need for tax relief".

House Republican Minority Leader Lisa Demuth of Cold Spring says it's "beyond time" to start getting the surplus back to Minnesotans in the form of tax relief:

"With a surplus as we have, and now seeing that (it) is continuing -- or it would be even higher if we hadn't factored inflation in -- it's time to head down that path of providing tax relief to Minnesotans right away."

She says lawmakers also "need to explore" ways of using one-time money in the massive surplus for one-time tax relief to Minnesotans.

Republicans have a one-vote minority in the Minnesota Senate and are also in the minority in the Minnesota House, so they would need Democrats' help to pass the proposal.

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Governor Tim Walz in his budget proposal he outlined in January called for $1,000 rebate checks for individuals who make up to $75,000, or checks of $2,000 for couples who make up to $150,000. Parents would get an additional $200 per child with a cap for families of $2,600.



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