April was a banner tax month for Minnesota

Minnesota had a strong April when it comes to taxes, collecting $252 million more than expected.

A report Thursday from the Department of Minnesota Management and Budget showed that individual income tax payments made up the bulk of the extra revenue. All told, the month's tax haul was 11.5 percent higher than forecasters projected in an estimate released in late February. That's a bigger swing than normal.

Sales tax collections were $17 million lower than forecast, but corporate franchise taxes were substantially ahead of the expected pace to the tune of $59 million more.

State lawmakers typically don't use the monthly reports as benchmarks when setting the budget, but they can reinforce arguments. Republicans have been arguing that Minnesota's economy is in solid shape and the state can sustain a healthy tax cut. Gov. Mark Dayton and DFLers have been urging caution, noting that the country is closer to the next recession than the last based on history.

"Wide swings in variances may be caused by variations in the rate at which receipts are received and processed and differences in the rate at which refunds are issued," the report said in a standard notice accompanying the monthly reports.

Officially, the Minnesota Legislature is working with a projected surplus of $329 million.

A deeper analysis is due in July, which will cover three months of tax receipts.

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