Minnesota's general fund revenue for fiscal year 2015 is now estimated to be $20.36 billion, which is $555 million, or 2.8 percent more than projected in the February 2015 forecast, according to Minnesota Management and Budget.

Higher-than-expected individual and corporate income tax revenue account for nearly all of the extra revenue, MMB said. General fund revenues in fiscal year 2015 are now estimated to be 5.6 percent greater than in fiscal year 2014. State revenues for the final quarter of 2015 were $455 million more than forecast.

Continued strong revenue growth will set up a debate during next year's legislative session similar to this year about how to spend the state surplus. Unable to resolve disputes about tax cuts and transportation, Republicans and Democrats left hundreds of millions of dollars on the bottom line this year to be fought over next year.

MMB also commented on the national and state economy. The U.S. economy got off to a slow start this year, MMB said, due to temporary factors such as the West Coast port strike, harsh winter weather in the Eastern U.S., a drop in oil exploration investment, and a stronger dollar that hurt exports.

Those factors are believe to be fading or gone, as in the case of the port strike.

The mining economy in northern Minnesota has been hurt by the struggling steel industry, MMB said.

Patrick Coolican • 651-925-5042