Contrary to statements in this article, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce isn’t the consistent friend of the GOP. David Montgomery wrote “the GOP’s traditional allies in the business community are joining DFLers in the push to include transit in a transportation funding package.” The Minnesota Chamber is, at best, an on-again, off-again ally to the GOP.

Let’s check out the Chamber’s history. In past years, they’ve pushed for lots of bonding projects like civic centers and downtown renovations. That’s proof that they aren’t limited government conservatives. That isn’t surprising.

In 2008, the Chamber provided the DFL with the political cover they needed to raise Minnesota’s gas tax. That transportation bill also included lots of fees that went towards increasing transit funding. Eight years later, the Chamber is pushing another round of middle class tax increases to pay for transit projects. Apparently, the other fee increases didn’t work. (At the time the 2008 tax increase plan passed, I predicted that they’d be back sooner rather than later for more tax and fee increases. I was right. Hint: it didn’t require Nostradamus to get that prediction right.)

House Speaker Kurt Daudt routinely expresses a similar sentiment: that the Legislature should focus on new road and bridge spending and not on buses and trains.

Speaker Daudt is right. Minnesotans can’t afford another DFL middle class tax increase. Taxpayers aren’t ATMs. It’s time to start prioritizing rather than putting together oversized wish lists that can only be funded with major tax and fee increases.

When Gov. Dayton pushed B2B tax increases, the Chamber fought him on it because it was their ox getting gored. Now that the tax increase is hitting someone else, they’re pushing for it. Apparently, the Chamber is ok with tax increases … as long it doesn’t hit them.

2 Responses to “Chamber isn’t GOP’s friend”

  • Chad Q says:

    You’re right, the Chamber only cares about taxes that affect them. Case in point is the other day when Cam Winton was in front of the senate testifying about how the 12 week paid leave would hurt businesses.

    I will disagree with Speaker Daudt on transit spending for buses. If they are going to spend money on transit, it should ONLY be on buses as they are the most cost effective transit option this state has and needs for the population density.

  • Gary Gross says:

    When Transportation Forward talks transit, they’re talking light rail projects. As for buses and commuter rail, you’re right. They are cost-effective.

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