REPUBLICAN ROAD AND BRIDGE PROPOSAL APPROVED BY MINNESOTA HOUSE
ST. PAUL, MN—The Minnesota House of Representatives has approved the Road and Bridge Act of 2015 (House File 4), the major part of House Republicans' comprehensive, future-oriented proposal for transportation in Minnesota. The Road and Bridge Act of 2015 passed with bipartisan support on a vote of 73-59.
The Republican proposal invests $7 billion over the next decade without raising taxes. The ten-year approach prioritizes road and bridge infrastructure through:
-Immediate repair of roads in Minnesota communities.
-Highway improvements for commuters and commerce.
-Reliable, long-term funding without raising taxes.
Over the next ten years, the Republican proposal prioritizes repairing or replacing 15,500 lane miles for all roads and 330 bridges statewide. This is accomplished through the following investments:
$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
Representative Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, issued the following statement regarding the passage of House File 4:
"Our plan invests $7 billion dollars into roads and bridges without a harmful increase in the gas tax," Gruenhagen said. "Democrats' plan to raise the gas tax is extremely regressive and will harm low-income families, and seniors living on fixed incomes. In addition, it would increase the price of goods and services across the state, putting even more strain on family budgets. I hope Governor Dayton and Democrats will abandon their plan to increase taxes on Minnesota families, and find a way to truly prioritize roads and bridges, one of our most basic functions of government."
“Minnesota families rely on our road and bridge infrastructure to get their kids to school and themselves to work. The House Republican majority has listened to Minnesotans and worked toward a solution that provides immediate repair to roads in their communities. Furthermore, with the passage of the Road and Bridge Act of 2015, we delivered a real, long-term solution without increasing the tax burden on middle-class Minnesotans,” said Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown).
"With this bill, House Republicans are offering a workable, common sense solution to our transportation funding debate," said House Transportation Committee Chair Tim Kelly (R-Red Wing), chairman of the Minnesota House Transportation Finance Committee. "We were able to prioritize roads and bridges in the fiscally responsible manner that Minnesotans wanted and expected."
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.