ST. PAUL – With the latest state budget forecast set to be released on February 26, State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) is once again promoting a long-term transportation plan that would invest $7 billion in state roads and bridges over the next ten years without raising gas taxes.
"Even though most people want better roads, they don't want to pay more at the pump," Davids said. "This is a fiscally responsible, reliable transportation solution that prioritizes small towns, Greater Minnesota road and bridge needs, and the taxpayer."
Though a House/Senate agreement was not reached on long-term transportation needs last session, Davids said discussions will resume once the 2016 session begins.
The House proposal would redirect already collect some transportation-related sales taxes and use some bonding and general fund proceeds to make the $7 billion road and bridge investment. This includes nearly $6 billion for state, county, and municipal roads over ten years, $60 million for township road and bridge needs, and $282 million for small cities that have populations less than 5,000 residents to assist with street repair projects.
Last year, Minnesota House Republicans sponsored a provision signed into law that created the small cities program, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars being allocated to local towns. If the House's long-term transportation proposal becomes law, it would lead to nearly $750,000 being sent to communities in Fillmore and Houston counties.
"The goal of the small cities program is to ensure that the street repair needs of our towns are no longer ignored," Davids said. "I've heard from a number of city officials over the past few months who were pleased to have this new revenue stream and are eager for it to continue."
The 2016 session is set to begin on March 08, 2016.