I wanted to take a moment to update you on recent budget negotiations.
As you may recall, I wrote in earlier updates about our transportation budget. Our budget fully funds our transportation needs and provides long-term, stable funding by reallocating current tax dollars, not adding additional taxes to family budgets. Unfortunately, Governor Dayton and the DFL don’t want to accept any of our budget proposals unless we include a costly and unnecessary 6.5% gas tax.
In fact, they believe so strongly that Minnesotans should pay more at the pump that they’ve chosen to use this bargaining chip to delay budget negotiations and prevent us from doing the work we were sent here to do.
I believe that raising gas prices by increasing taxes is the wrong move for Minnesota families – and so does the Governor’s own agency. As Minnesota Management and Budget said on Monday, “lower gas prices are comparable to a tax cut, freeing up disposable income for spending on non-gasoline food and services.” Why shouldn’t you keep more of your hard earned income, leaving you with the opportunity to save it, or use it to acquire goods and services for your family? Increasing the gas tax is regressive and unnecessary, costing the average Minnesota family an additional $600 per year. I am frustrated that the Governor would halt negotiations over a proposal that every single House member – Republican and DFL – has already voted against.
We were sent to the Capitol to do the hard work that Minnesotans need us to do. We’ve passed our budgets, setting forth solid proposals to fund our transportation infrastructure, education system, health and human services needs, and more. It’s time for the Governor and DFL leaders to set aside disastrous, partisan policies and come to the negotiating table with real solutions for Minnesota families.
Rep. Jim Nash