St. Paul — Following the Minnesota Republican leadership roll out of a comprehensive, long-term plan to invest in Minnesota’s transportation needs without raising taxes, Minnesota Jobs Coalition President Mark Drake issued the following statement.
“Minnesotans across the political spectrum agree- a gas tax increase is the wrong approach and would hurt hardworking Minnesotans. Minnesotans have indicated they want to see real solutions to address transportation needs without raising taxes and hurting hardworking families. I applaud Speaker Daudt and Chairman Kelly for delivering a plan that addresses the state’s needs in a sustainable way and without raising taxes.”
Rochester Post Bulletin: It likely will hit low-income workers harder than those who could afford to pay more. “We are reluctant to immediately support Dayton’s proposed gas tax increase, knowing it likely will hit low-income workers harder than those who could afford to pay more at the pump. An increased gas tax would mean those with older, gas-guzzling cars would be paying more than people who can afford to purchase newer, fuel-efficient vehicles.” (“Our View: Road fix debate needs to consider all routes” Rochester Post Bulletin January 13, 2015)
Brainerd Dispatch: Gas tax proponents should explain how a regressive gas tax will affect the poorest among Minnesotans. “Those who argue a gas tax increase is justified had better make their case that transportation money is being spent efficiently with an appropriate rural/urban balance. Those same gas tax proponents should explain how a regressive gas tax will affect the poorest among Minnesotans.” (“Our Opinion: Make your arguments” Brainerd Dispatch January 9, 2015)
Duluth News Tribune: Couldn’t we at least look if there’s some cutting that could be done to free up a bit of cash? “But before we scream “uncle!” as a sign of surrender, how about this? How about cutting from the state’s existing budget to cover at least some of the cost of keeping up with transportation needs, as legislative Republicans have suggested? Couldn’t we at least look if there’s some cutting that could be done to free up a bit of cash? More than 30 states pay for bridge and highway repairs from their general funds, recognizing that a safe and efficient transportation system is a core responsibility of government. Minnesota doesn’t.” (“Our View: Minnesota taxpayers ready to scream ‘uncle!’” Duluth News Tribune January 28, 2015)
Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake) “A gas tax increase is no good for rural folks …” (Bill Hanna “Range lawmakers back gas tax increase” Mesabi Daily News January 17, 2015)
Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) “The gas tax is one of the most unpopular taxes there is.” (Julia Van Susteren Gov. Dayton pushes $6 billion transportation funding plan” Mesabi Daily News January 18, 2015)
Bemidji Pioneer: A gas tax increase “adversely our mining companies, our timber producers, anybody who’s in the transportation business.” Saxhaug said relying just on the wholesale tax gas tax would hamper Minnesota industry. Saxhaug pointed out other options, such as alternative revenue increases, drawing money from the state general fund, and bonding for transportation. “It affects adversely our mining companies, our timber producers, anybody who’s in the transportation business,” he said of the wholesale tax. “I’m always thinking that some combination (of options) would be okay, and (I) might go for that.” (Zach Kayser “Bemidji legislators talk gas tax, new session” Bemidji Pioneer January 8, 2015)