A faithful read of the blogs, news sites, and talk radio reveals the beginning of a “tax revolt,” according to Gov. Tim Pawlenty. People are apparently that much in arms over the override of the governor’s veto of the gas tax.
“We’re all struggling around here just to keep our houses,” a driver at a gas station in Anoka told MPR’s Curtis Gilbert. “A lot of us around here are going into foreclosure almost because we can’t pay our bills. No work, no nothing. It’s tough.”
But a check of newspapers around the state today suggests the farther one gets away from the Capitol, the different the tune.
In the Worthington Daily Globe (reg. required):
Never mind that already high gas prices — at more than $3 per gallon — will be compounded by a 5-cent gas tax in coming months, or that license tab fees and vehicle taxes will also be increased. Reaction from community and business leaders on Tuesday was overwhelmingly positive.
The Marshall Independent (the home of House Minority Leader Marty Seifert):
“We will have more money for safer and better roads,” county commissioner Steve Ritter said of the transportation bill that passed Monday after a successful vote to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto.
“We know for sure that gas tax money will come to Lyon County,” commissioner Bob Fenske said. “I’m very pleased.”
An editorial in the Bemidji Pioneer:
Gov. Pawlenty’s dismissal of the override is disingenuous, that at a time when the federal government is issuing rebate checks, “Democrats in Minnesota have decided to burden our families with hundreds of dollars a year in new taxes to pay for a massive $7 billion tax increase.”
The Grand Forks Herald suggests service station owners aren’t all that concerned about competition from North Dakota says gas stations adjust prices to the competition anyway. As for drivers…
“We kind of gotten used to high gas prices,” said Paul Mehrkens after paying $36.02 for 11.6 gallons of unleaded regular gas at East Grand Station.
And down along the Iowa border, MPR’s Tom Weber found a similar view:
Jason Trout, a resident of Decorah, Iowa, wrote that politicians talk about how people will cross the border to buy gas cheaper. He calls that “poppycock.”
“Who is going to spend $6 in gas and a half hour of their life to save a few cents in taxes?” he asked, before concluding, “While I commend Minnesota for raising its tax, I won’t be crossing the border to show my support.”
… even though Minnesota has the lowest gas prices in the Upper Midwest.