ST. PAUL – House Democrats on Monday approved a transportation bill (H.F. 1555) which increases the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon – a 70-percent increase – and in total raises taxes by more than $4 billion over four years.
“There certainly is room to improve our state’s roads and bridges, but there are plenty of other places we could trim waste, fraud and abuse to obtain additional revenue instead of going back to the taxpayers for more,” said Rep. Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring. “Any increase in the gas tax would hit lower earners and the people of Greater Minnesota in general the hardest. Not only would we be paying more at the pump, but it could drive up the price of just about any goods and services we pay for every day. Not to mention, the state has a $1 billion surplus.”
In addition to the increase of 20 cents per gallon – which would give Minnesota the fourth-highest gas tax in the country – the House Democrats’ 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.
The bill transfers statutorily dedicated auto parts sales tax funds – $417 million in 2020-21 – into the general fund. This reverses the major investments House and Senate Republicans made during the last biennium to fund road and bridge infrastructure without a gas tax increase.