ST. PAUL – House Democrats are expected to approve Monday a transportation bill (H.F. 1555) which increases the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon – a 70-percent increase – and in total raises taxes by more than $4 billion over four years.
“The state has enough tax revenue to improve our roads and bridges without raising a tax that places a disproportionate burden on lower- and middle-income earners and residents of Greater Minnesota in general,” said Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls. “The state already has a $1 billion budget surplus but, instead of working within those parameters, Democrats are looking to raise the gas tax by 70 percent – just one costly component in their push for an astounding $12 billion tax increase on Minnesotans over the next four years.”
In addition to the increase of 20 cents per gallon – which would give Minnesota the fourth-highest gas tax in the country – the House Democrats’ transportation bill increases the vehicle registration tax, the metro sales tax, and the new vehicle sales tax will increase taxes on Minnesotans by a combined $2.3 billion.
The bill transfers statutorily dedicated auto parts sales tax funds – $417 million in 2020-21 – into the general fund. This reverses the major investments House and Senate Republicans made during the last biennium to fund road and bridge infrastructure without a gas tax increase.
“It all comes down to priorities and House Republicans showed it can be done by providing a historic investment in roads and bridges last biennium without raising taxes,” Nornes said. “Now, Democrats are looking to dismantle that progress and raise taxes on people who can least afford it.”