ST. PAUL, MN – House Democrats approved Monday their Transportation bill (HF 1555) which increases the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon – a 70% increase – and in total raises taxes by more than $4 billion dollars over four years. The bill passed on a 74-58 vote despite bipartisan opposition.
“Raising the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon would ultimately increase the price of living, driving, or running a business in Minnesota,” said Rep. John Heinrich, R-Anoka. “Making strong investments in our roads and bridges does not require increasing gas taxes or other fees. Instead, the necessary funds can come from Republican proposals like dedicating existing auto parts sales tax revenue. With a revenue source set aside and a state budget surplus exceeding $1 billion, there’s no need to be talking about a gas tax hike.”
In addition to the 20 cent per gallon increase which would give Minnesota the fourth highest gas tax in the country, the House Democrat 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 dollars. The bill transfers statutorily dedicated auto parts sales tax funds — $417 million in 2020-21 – into the general fund. This reversed the major investments House & Senate Republicans made during the last biennium to fund road and bridge infrastructure without a gas tax increase.