January's better-than-expected state revenue receipts are being used as fresh ammunition by Minnesota Republicans opposed to new tax hikes this year.

Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter reported last week that the state collected $296 million more than expected in net general fund revenue for January. According to Schowalter, net receipts from the individual income, sales and corporate taxes all came in above previously forecast numbers.

Last month, Gov. Tim Walz unveiled a $52.4 billion state budget proposal that would increase taxes on couples earning more than $1 million, and on corporations and tobacco products. January's rosier receipts prompted Republicans to seize on the report as proof that the Legislature should not raise taxes in the next two-year budget.

"Taking billions in taxes from Minnesotans will slow our fragile recovery and serve only as a distraction to balancing the budget, getting vaccines out and getting kids back in schools," said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka. "Right now COVID cases are significantly down, revenues are up, and we ought to be thanking the taxpayers for their sacrifices, not asking more of them."

Walz is expected to issue a revised budget proposal in early March after the state's updated economic forecast is released.