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According to this memo, the Minnesota House of Representatives has “passed legislation (HF4437) Thursday on a bipartisan 76-54 vote that would constitutionally dedicate existing sales tax revenue from auto parts to statewide road and bridge construction.”

Representative Paul Torkelson issued this statement after the legislation was passed:

Anyone driving around our state knows our roads need more work, and it takes money to do that. It’s my hope that this fall, voters can decide if it makes sense to use taxes already being collected from the sales of auto parts in order to continue this road and bridge prioritization. If they vote favorably, we not only will improve our transportation infrastructure but also support thousands of good paying union jobs across our state and put people to work.

If approved by the Minnesota House and Senate, voters would decide this November whether or not to redirect the already-collected sales taxes to road and bridge repair on state, county, township, city and small town projects.

Last year we approved a law to utilize existing tax collections to fund road and bridge repair, and the result is a multi-billion dollar investment over the next decade. This is the logical next step, as we always seem to have trouble finding needed resources as they are always in competition with other portions of the state budget. If voters decide to set aside this revenue, we can assure that it will be spent on roads and bridges.

Gov. Dayton & the DFL insist on funding light rail boondoggles while underfunding maintaining and building road and bridge repair. They’ve argued against dedicating this money by saying it takes money away from the general fund. This is Minnesotans’ opportunity to dedicate these sales taxes to funding road and bridge repair.

If auto-related sales taxes shouldn’t be used to fix or build roads and bridges, then they should be abolished entirely. To have them go into the general fund is to overfund government waste.