Pawlenty: No rebates

Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants a second term.
MPR File Photo

Gov. Tim Pawlenty says if Minnesota has a budget surplus, he doesn't want to use the additional money for rebate checks to taxpayers.

An economic update released earlier this week showed stronger-than-expected tax collections. That could trigger a law forcing state leaders to consider a tax rebate similar to the "Jesse checks" under former Gov. Jesse Ventura.

Pawlenty said on MPR's Midday program that the state should look at both tax cuts and education spending.

"I think one-time rebates are not the best solution. I think if we're going to do tax relief, we should do real tax relief, like permanent tax relief for low-income or middle-income people, low-income tax relief, but I think we'd be also well-served by using some or all of that money on some of our other priorities like reforming education," he said.

Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Peter Hutchinson has called for using half of any surplus for tax rebates and half to pay off road construction debt.

DFL candidate Mike Hatch says the money should go to Minnesotans who paid higher college tuition and property taxes because of state budget cuts in 2003.