Posted: 01/23/16 13:11
by Dave Mindeman
Well, Governor Dayton said something he will get into trouble for.....
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says a gas tax increase to fund road and bridge repairs should still be on the table.
Gasp! (Republican eyerolling ensues)
But, as I have tried to point out before, a gas tax, in the current environment, is absolutely the right thing to do.
We are struggling to pay for infrastructure. The Republicans have already decided that they will shift spending away from other needs to roads and bridges (leaving other departments holding the bag and leaving transit high and dry) and take on more borrowing (while we are already talking about a bonding bill).
The Senate is a bit more open to the idea of a gas tax, but I suspect that Senator Bakk has probably already traded that one away.
With gas prices at these kind of levels, we should be increasing the state gas tax immediately. Sure, prices will eventually go back up, but in the mean time, use the opportunity to collect revenue that is already dedicated to roads and bridges. Sunset the tax provision or tie it to a certain price level - and it can go away. But just do it.
There is an additional benefit to raising the gas tax. When prices are this low, people are tempted to over consume (which adds to environmental pressure) and to purchase bigger vehicles, which increases consumption beyond the current price environment.
Dayton is right. Let's discuss it....look at it....act on it.
Roads and bridges are not getting any better.