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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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Lueck provision a highlight of House’s transportation bill

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

 

ST. PAUL – Legislation authored by Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, is a key component of a transportation package the Minnesota House recently approved to increase and stabilize funding for roads and bridges.

Lueck’s H.F. 502 would direct sales tax revenue already being collected on purchases of motor vehicle parts and tires toward a Highway User Distribution Fund. The provision is part of an overall House plan that would put in place the framework for investing $6 billion over the next 10 years toward the state’s transportation needs without raising taxes.

“People say improving our roads and bridges should be a priority and this package backs that up,” Lueck said. “Roads and bridges are integral parts of our infrastructure and the House transportation package recognizes that.”

Lueck indicated Gov. Mark Dayton’s transportation plan to raise the gas tax by roughly 16 cents per gallon at a minimum, meaning a family of four would be paying an estimated $300 more each year.

“That’s a tough plan for him to sell when the state has a $1.6 billion surplus,” Lueck said. “The state already is collecting enough tax revenue to improve our roads and bridges without raising the gas tax as long as we focus on what’s important.”

The proposal creates a new fund of existing tax revenue streams called the Transportation Priorities Fund. This new fund uses current, transportation-related state tax revenues to invest $450 million in new dollars for roads and bridges. Additionally, the transportation proposal would fund:

  • $25 million for the Small Cities Road Assistance program
  • $300 million for Corridors of Commerce program
  • $35 million for rail grade crossings
  • Funding to repair or replace all 97 bridges on MnDOT's local bridge priority list

The Senate also recently passed its own transportation proposal. The House and Senate versions will be the subject of a conference committee where lawmakers will reconcile differences between the two bills in preparation for final passage.

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