Conference committees are in full swing as legislators work on final details of the 2016-2017 budget. Republicans remain committed to enacting a budget that spends taxpayer dollars responsibly and works to keep government budgets from growing faster than family budgets.
One of the biggest differences that remain is how we're going to address our transportation needs. Democrats have proposed the largest gas tax increase in the history of Minnesota to pay for their transportation plan. The gas tax is one of the most regressive forms of taxation and would hurt low-income families as well as seniors on fixed incomes the most. In addition, it would raise the cost of goods and services, another hidden tax increase on top of the money they take out of your pocket at the pump.
Republicans on the other hand have put forward a 10 year plan that utilizes existing sales taxes on auto parts, vehicle leases, and car rentals as well as bonding and a portion of the budget surplus. In total, our plan means $7 billion over 10 years that will go toward 15,500 lane miles of roads, 330 bridges, as well as road funding for cities of all sizes.
Our plan is the only plan that includes funding for cities with fewer than 5,000 residents. Potholes impact drivers in Minneapolis the same way they do drivers in our small communities, and we can't leave them behind in our long-term transportation plan.
Here's the funding our cities would receive under the GOP plan:
Green Isle: $28,017
New Auburn: $26,298
Lester Prairie: $43,632
Silver Lake: $29,838