The DFL’s rationalization for their proposed gas tax increase is consistent if nothing else:

State Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, said the increased transportation funding is needed to pay for ongoing maintenance and new projects. “More than half of Minnesota’s roads are more than 50 years old,” Dibble said. “Forty percent of the state’s bridges are more than 40 years old. And in just the next three years alone, one in five Minnesota roads will pass their useful life.”

For the sake of this discussion, let’s stipulate that these statements are accurate. The first question, then, is exceptionally straightforward. With that many roads and bridges falling apart, why didn’t the DFL fix that situation in 2013-14 when they had a DFL governor and DFL majorities in the House and Senate?

The DFL passed a transportation bill that Gov. Dayton signed. It wouldn’t have been difficult to throw some tax increase language into the Transportation Bill. The bill would’ve sailed through the legislature. Gov. Dayton wouldn’t have vetoed the bill. The transportation problem would’ve been solved for the next 20 years.

The DFL hasn’t admitted that their last gas tax increase failed miserably so I’ll admit it for them. The latest DFL gas tax increase passed in 2008. It’s failed miserably. It hasn’t come close to meeting the DFL’s predictions.

Something’s happened since 2008, though. Since then, the DFL admitted that motorists are driving more fuel efficient cars. Further, I’ll highlight the fact that more people are working more hours from home. Those dynamics mean that gas tax increases won’t come close to fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges.

That’s why the Republican solution doesn’t rely on raising the gas tax. Unlike the DFL, they learned their lesson. That’s why the Republicans’ plan relies on a stable funding mechanism.

Minnesotans need their potholes filled and their bridges fixed. They don’t need major new investments in transit. That’s why Minnesotans need to reject the DFL’s tax increase and push for the Republicans’ transportation plan.

2 Responses to “The DFL transportation mantra”

  • J. Ewing says:

    Hey, what happened to that Constitutional amendment that “solved the problem” permanently?

  • walter hanson says:

    Gary:

    Lets not forget that a whole bunch of counties were given the option to have a $10 wheelage tax added to the car tab bills of their residents to maintain their county roads. Why should Hennepin and Ramsey county which added the tax now need a new sales tax bill to improve their county roads.

    And lets not forget if the roads are such a problem why don’t you stop mass transit projects for a couple of years to catch up on the roads.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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