There has been a lot of talk recently regarding our state’s transportation needs and the Governor’s transportation proposal. While I agree with the Governor and the majority of Minnesotans that our roads and bridges are in need of repair, I disagree that the Governor’s plan is the best and most responsible way to address them.
The Governor’s transportation plan calls for nearly $9 billion dollars in new taxes, tax increases, and fee increases. At the center of the governor’s plan is a new 6.5% tax on gasoline at the wholesale level. This new tax would be in addition to the already 28.5 cent gas tax that Minnesota already has in place and bring more pain at the pump to Minnesota taxpayers.
If approved, motorists could expect to pay a minimum of 17-cents more per gallon at the pump under Governor Dayton’s plan, and there’s no limit as to how high that tax could jump. If the tax is based on $3 per gallon gas, you would pay an additional 20 cents per gallon. At $4, the new tax would rise to 26 cents per gallon, costing you $4.26.
With a $1 billion dollar surplus and a proposed $42 billion dollar budget for the next biennium, I find it disappointing that, instead of prioritizing spending in an already massive state budget, the Governor’s plan to address our transportation needs is the same old answer—continue raising taxes on hardworking Minnesotans and their families.
I am hopeful that the Governor will be willing to compromise on his plan and work with the legislature to find a way to responsibly address our state’s transportation needs.
On Friday of last week, House Speaker Kurt Daudt visited our District to meet with Park Rapids school officials and teachers. We discussed a wide variety of issues related to education and economic development. Most notable was the need for rural schools to have the capability to offer vocational and technical courses to students.
Many schools in rural Minnesota are having to cut shop and Ag classes as budgets are tightened. A bill is currently moving through the House that would empower school districts to tap community experts to fill technical, vocational, and Ag related courses for students.
As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have a question or comment about a piece of legislation or a state agency. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9918 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,