ST. PAUL – House Democrats on Monday approved a transportation bill (H.F. 1555) which includes a 20 cents per gallon gas tax increase. That would be a 70-percent increase in the current gas tax, costing Minnesotans more than $4 billion over the next four years.
“This huge increase in the gas tax is especially harmful to low-income Minnesotans and in particular those of us in Greater Minnesota,” said Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin. “It’s astounding that about half of the 20 cents gas tax increase won’t go to roads and bridges, rather it will go to replace existing sales tax dollars generated on the purchases of auto parts, tires, etc., that we are already spending on roads and bridges. We put a record amount of new dollars into roads and bridges during the last biennium and going forward. The 20 cents per gallon gas tax hike is simply a bait and switch approach that raises the gas tax over here and then redirects other road and bridge dollars to new non-transportation spending.”
Gov. Tim Walz and the House Democrat majority also are proposing to reverse the long-term investments the House, the Senate and last governor made collectively to fund Minnesota’s road and bridge infrastructure without increasing the gas tax. They would transfer statutorily dedicated auto parts sales tax funds about $417 million in 2020-21 to non-transportation related spending.
In addition to the increase of 20 cents per gallon – which would give Minnesota the fourth-highest gas tax in the country – the governor and House Democrats’ transportation bill increases the vehicle license tab registration tax, the metro sales tax, and new vehicle sales tax. That will add more taxes on Minnesotans by a combined $2.3 billion in the out years.