Governor Dayton Pitches Gas Sales Tax for Minnesota Road and Bridge Projects

Published On: 29th October 2014

From the internet

Up until this point, Gov. Mark Dayton said he would not raise taxes in his second term. However, he recently said he would propose a Minnesota sales tax on gasoline in order to generate money for road and bridge projects.

He floated the idea right at the start of his second debate against two others challenging him for the governor seat.

When asked what the candidates would do if they were elected, Dayton said he would make a proposal that would include a gasoline tax that would raise close to $6.5 billion for transportation funding over a decade.

The governor said in the past that Minnesota is not able to maintain its transportation system without new revenue, but he never specified a plan. He also said that anyone suggesting transportation needs can be met with the existing funding is not telling the truth.

The other two candidates disagreed, stating that money can be found in the existing budget.

One candidate said that the state should dedicate more money to the road and bridge projects by taking some away from bike lanes and trains. Dayton was then criticized for not making transportation a priority in his first term.

One candidate continued by saying that the state had the biggest tax increase in history, yet there is not enough money to fill potholes. He said that the focus on transportation included everything but roads and bridges.

It was also stated by a candidate that she believes too much of the transportation funding focus had been placed on light rail at the expense of more significant forms of transportation. She did say, however, that she would be willing to increase the gas tax if the money couldn’t be found elsewhere.

Transportation was just one of the issues that were hotly debated throughout the 90 minute debate.

Also debated was the budget. One candidate said he would hire an outside auditor to look at different ways to cut spending, if he was elected. He said he would cut the income tax increase that was implemented under Dayton’s term, as well as the corporate income tax, but there were no specifics about how the lost revenue would be compensated for. Instead, he said his tax plan would be fairly simple with the key being “low” taxes. Dayton said that candidates tax plan would end up taking money from human services, education, health care, and other areas that don’t need cut. The third candidate said she would eliminate the corporate tax in order to encourage businesses to move to Minnesota or invest in the state in some way.

There were a number of other topics debated, such as education funding. The opposing candidates said they would make the rural school districts a higher priority. Dayton contended that his budget did increase funding for schools. Another one of the candidates was criticized for cutting school spending during his time on the legislature.

Energy and Vikings Stadium were the other two topics that were debated. The one area in which the candidates did agree was that involving a new oil pipeline that would run across Minnesota in order to reduce the number of oil trains coming across the state.