The Minnesota Shut Down May Cost More Than it Saves
Policy + Politics

The Minnesota Shut Down May Cost More Than it Saves


With state parks and rest stops shuttered, and the state lottery frozen, Minnesota's government shutdown is losing the state money.

But how much, exactly? Thursday marks the seventh day of Minnesota's deadlock over a projected $5 billion deficit. Because some of the people who would calculate those costs are currently laid off by the shutdown, Minnesota Management and Budget spokesman John Pollard told TPM it's difficult to come up with an exact number.

"We will have better numbers of the costs once the shutdown is complete," Pollard wrote in an email. "It is impossible to calculate the total costs prospectively."

But Pollard was able to offer some estimates. The state is losing $1.25 million per day from lost lottery sales; $40,000 to $50,000 per week is lost from the Department of Transportation MnPass collections; and $80,000 is lost in the first week from the Giants Ridge golf course and convention center.

The state park closures are costing the state around $200,000 a day, the Washington Post reports.

Pollard couldn't offer an estimate of the total lost revenue from the Department of Administration, due to not collecting parking fees; the Department of Health, from various licenses; and the Department of Education, from teachers' licenses.

Ultimately, Pollard said he expects the government shutdown to cost the state more than it saves, because of the various "planning and execution costs that would not have normally occurred."

Some of that lost revenue can be made up, from fees if people renew licenses once the state is back up and running. But it's unclear how much will be made up, Pollard said.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton again met with Republican lawmakers Wednesday. Dayton offered two proposals to end the impasse, Reuters reports, but Republicans rejected them.

Dayton proposed a temporary income tax increase on people making more than $1 million per year or a $1 per pack tobacco tax increase along with healthcare surcharges and a delay in school aid payments. He said this would close an estimated gap of $1.4 billion between his spending plans and Republicans.

Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers told reporters the call for tax increases was a step "backward."

Dayton expressed his frustration with the Republicans' rejection.

"It's their way or no way continues to be their position," the governor said. "If somebody else has a rabbit to pull out of a hat then I look forward to them doing so, but there are only so many real world sources of making up this difference."

The original version of this story was published here:

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