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“Building Transportation infrastructure will be at the top of the list for 2016 session,” said Wills. “The budget surplus reaffirms that a raise in the gas tax is not necessary; we don’t need to make family budgets even tighter in Minnesota to repair roads and bridges.”
Over the next ten years, the Republican proposal invests:
$4.03 billion for state roads
$1.44 billion for county roads
$583 million for municipal roads
$282 million for small cities under 5,000
$139 million for Greater Minnesota bus services
$60 million for township roads & bridges
The Republican proposal creates a special fund called the Transportation Stability Fund that collects existing proceeds from dedicated tax revenues and deposits them into accounts for each of their dedicated purpose. There are five accounts that would dedicate a combined $3.078 billion over ten years:
1. Road and Bridge Account – revenue from existing sales tax on auto parts
2. Metro Capital Improvements Account – revenue from existing sales tax on rental vehicles
3. Small Cities Account – revenue from existing rental vehicle tax
4. Greater Minnesota Bus Services Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax
5. Suburban County Highway Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax
In addition to the dedicated funds provided by the Transportation Stability Fund, the Republican proposal uses $1.3 billion in Trunk Highway bonds, $1.2 billion from realigning Minnesota Department of Transportation resources, $1.05 billion in General Obligation bonds, and $228 million in General Funds.
“I really hope that as legislators, both sides of the aisle can agree that transportation infrastructure in the Metro and Greater Minnesota should be the focus of any transportation legislation, not a train in Minneapolis or Saint Paul,” Wills said. “I look forward to the coming debate.”
Legislators are also working to pass a tax bill this upcoming session and Rep. Wills will continue to advocate for significant tax relief in the event of a large budget surplus.
The 2016 session is set to begin on March 08, 2016.
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