Rebate checks of up to $1,300 will start going out to Minnesota households this week, Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday.
The payments include $260 for individual filers or $520 for married couples, along with another $260 each for up to three dependents. Meanwhile, state Republicans are criticizing Walz, a Democrat, saying the checks are far smaller than he promised on the campaign trail.
“As Minnesotans plan for back-to-school, we know that the excitement families are feeling is mixed with the stress that comes with buying books, backpacks and clothes,” Walz said in a statement. “We’re going to help with that – both with payments of up to $1,300 per family and universal free breakfast and lunch. I am grateful for the Department of Revenue’s work to deliver these payments to Minnesotans as soon as possible.”
Walz had promised checks of $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for married couples while on the campaign trail, but the effort stalled in the state legislature. Democrats maintained full control of both chambers of the legislature but could not agree on the larger checks.
House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, a Republican, says many Minnesotans are likely to be disappointed.
“People dislike politicians because they think they will say anything to get elected – and that’s exactly what Gov. Walz did with returning the surplus,” Demuth told KSTP. “During the election, Gov. Walz repeatedly promised Minnesotans $2,000 rebate checks. Then Democrats took full control and decided they’d rather spend the record $17.5 billion surplus themselves than return it back to Minnesotans. Now, only a select few Minnesotans will be getting a paltry $260 – hardly what they were promised by the governor.”
Minnesota projected a budget surplus of $17.6 billion in December 2022, leading to talk of the cash payments. Ultimately, however, much of those funds instead went to infusions for state infrastructure and paying off U.S. Bank Stadium, which the state has now done 23 years before it was required to.
In order to qualify for the payments, Minnesota filers must have an income of $75,000 or less, or $150,000 for married couples filing jointly. Walz’s administration says all payments are expected to be delivered by the end of September.