ST. PAUL – Legislation authored by Rep. Dale Lueck, which dedicates revenue from existing sales taxes on auto tires, is a key component in a new 10-year House Republican transportation plan.
In all, the Road and Bridge Act of 2015 (H.F. 4) House Republicans unveiled Monday would put $7 billion toward roads and bridges over the next decade, repairing or replacing an estimated 15,500 lane miles and 330 bridges without a tax increase.
A bill Lueck authored (H.F. 516) is to be incorporated into the multi-faceted package, placing general sales tax revenue already paid on tires into what would be a new fund called the Transportation Stability Fund. Estimates show Lueck's proposal, along with other general sales taxes already paid on auto parts, would generate approximately $2.57 billion over the next 10 years. That is significant portion of the overall $7 billion total package that would go to roads and bridges.
"We are taking a common-sense approach prioritizing improving our roads and bridges without creating a new gas tax," Lueck said. "We have enough revenue to do the job we just have to make funding our roads and bridges a priority. Over the past decade, state spending on mass transit has increased 88 percent, while investments in roads and bridges increased only by 35 percent. We are refocusing our investment on roads and bridges including those at the local level."
Repairs of roads in our local communities:
• $1.44 billion for county roads
• $583 million for municipal roads
• $282 million for small cities (fewer than 5,000 residents)
• $60 million for township roads and bridges
In addition to the dedicated funds provided by the Transportation Stability Fund, the Road and Bridge Act of 2015 uses $1.3 billion in Trunk Highway bonds, $1.2 billion from realigning Minnesota Department of Transportation resources, $1.05 billion in General Obligation bonds, and $228 million in General Funds.
"This puts real dollars back into a sustainable long-range approach to maintaining our roads and bridges to the standard Minnesotans expect," Lueck said.