ST. PAUL – House Democrats are expected to approve Monday their Transportation bill (HF 1555) which increases the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon – a 70% increase – and in total raises taxes by more than $4 billion dollars over four years.
“A modern and efficient transportation system is critical for the safety of Minnesotans, their families, and for the thousands of businesses and manufacturers that rely on our roads and bridges to get goods to market,” said Representative Jon Koznick, R-Lakeville. “Last year, House Republicans prioritized transportation funding by dedicating existing revenue and general fund spending to make historic investments in our roads and bridges. The House DFL’s plan to raise excessive taxes and fees including a 70% gas tax increase, a metro area sales tax, and more expensive tab fees is reckless and will cause serious financial harm to Minnesota families. Their plan puts Minnesota drivers in reverse.”
Koznick went on to call the 20-cent gas tax increase “highway robbery” because the bill transfers statutorily dedicated auto parts sales tax funds — $417 million in 2020-21 – into the general fund. This transfer reverses the major investments House & Senate Republicans made during the last biennium to fund road and bridge infrastructure without a gas tax increase. Nearly half of the 20-cent tax increase is expected to "backfill" the $417 million transfer from the general fund.
In addition to the 20 cent per gallon increase which would give Minnesota the fourth highest gas tax in the country, the House Democrat 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 dollars.