MN Revenue Collections Down $16.2M During Shutdown

A halt in lottery ticket sales and laid-off tax auditors reportedly took their toll on the state's receipts.

Minnesota's 20-day government shutdown may have ended more than three weeks ago, but its consequences continue to linger.

The state reported July revenues of $954.1 million-$16.2 million below expectations. Sales tax collections took the biggest hit, falling $19.7 million below estimates.

In a memo to Governor Mark Dayton, Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said the slump was “almost certainly” due to the shutdown, with tax auditors being out of work during the shutdown. Lottery ticket sales were also halted during the closure.

He added that a combined report for July and August would give a more accurate measure of how the state's revenues are tracking projections.

A significant decline in state revenues could force legislators back into special session to balance the budget. Dayton told the Star Tribune that he is monitoring the economy closely and that Minnesota's employment numbers remain strong despite a concerning national economic picture.

Dayton signed 12 bills on July 20, bringing 22,000 laid-off state employees back to work and ending the longest government shutdown in recent U.S. history.

Many companies and industries have been affected by the shutdown. Canterbury Park lost almost $3 million during the first few weeks of July, and Minnesota's trucking and real estate industries also felt the impact.