Do you support a new gas tax for roads, bridges?

Gov. Mark Dayton responds to a question during the gubernatorial candidate debate Wednesday, Oct.8, 2014, at Hansen Theatre on the campus of Minnesota State University Moorhead. David Samson / The Fargo Forum

“After saying up until this point in his re-election campaign that he had no plans to raise taxes in a second term, Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday night he would propose putting a sales tax on gasoline to raise money for road and bridge projects,” writes MPR News reporter Tom Scheck.

He floated the idea right at the start of the second debate with his two challengers, Republican Jeff Johnson and Independence Party candidate Hannah Nicollet, when the candidates were asked for specifics about what they would do if elected.

“I’ll make a specific proposal that will include a sales tax on gasoline that will raise close to the $6.5 billion that we’re short for transportation funding over the next 10 years,” the DFLer said.

The governor has said in the past that Minnesota can’t maintain its current transportation system without new revenue, but he’s never outlined a specific plan. He’s also said anyone suggesting transportation needs can be met with existing funds isn’t being honest.

Johnson and Nicollet disagreed, saying they think they can find money in the existing budget.

Today’s Question: Do you support a new gas tax for roads, bridges?

  • KTN

    Yes, although I would go further and create an artificial floor for gas prices. Regardless of what gas would sell for in an unregulated market, we pay no less than the floor price. The entitlement mentality we have as a society needs to cease. We are not entitled, we are just drivers, like those in Europe, Asia, and yet, we pay the least for the same product. Oh, but of course the right feigns indignity when the specter of a tax raises its head, but they have no solutions other than, well, I guess indignity.

  • PaulJ

    I’m all for excise taxes. Progressive taxes can focus on income and inheritance.

  • Rich in Duluth

    I agree that much must be done to improve and repair our infrastructure. However, I prefer income taxes to cover these expenses and not gasoline taxes. First, most workers drive or use the transportation system in some way, so it’s their responsibility. Then, a tax on gasoline is regressive in that it hits everyone without regard to income level. The poor pay as much as the rich and, thus, the tax on gasoline hits the poor with a higher percentage of their income. Finally, with the continuing improvement in miles per gallon of our cars and trucks, the gasoline tax would decline as inflation raises the cost of infrastructure improvements.

    • a_tribe_called_chris

      How about user fees and mileage based taxation then? If you use it you should pay for it

      • Rich in Duluth

        Well, no, user fees are regressive, too. And, even if we stay at home, we are all “users” and benefit from our infrastructure. All of the things you have, from your home building materials to your shirt, to the milk in your frig, came to you over the roads and highways of this country.

        • a_tribe_called_chris

          No, not really. I can purchase a product and not be a user. The company that delivered the product would be a user not me.

          • Rich in Duluth

            Chris, we are not all little separate entities, living our little lives, independently. Any demand you put on the system, uses the infrastructure system. That truck delivering a product to your home wouldn’t be coming to your home unless you demanded it with your order. That’s you, indirectly, using the infrastructure system, making you responsible for that use.

            Maybe, if you were living on public land, subsisting on snared rabbits and huckleberries, using stone tools you made yourself, and clothing yourself in furs from animals you killed, you might be somewhat independent.

          • al anderson

            Ever heard of the term “end user”. Good luck getting the things you buy or use delivered without roads. Good luck carrying a ladder (for example) on your bike.

      • al anderson

        When the legislature puts a mileage tax on bikes and transit …ill listen. Until then, you spouting hollow words. By the way…a gas tax is a user fee. Duh!

  • jphan

    Absolutely yes for a gas tax as long as its not too much of an increase (say 5-7 cents). Our infrastructure needs the attention and it would provide some economic payoff as well.

  • RS

    No I do not. How about cutting the waste and fraud in the government and using those monies for highways, roadways and bridges?

    • K

      From where? Those waste and fraud charges are always thrown around. Show us where! 44% of the state budget goes to health care. 33% goes to K-12. ALL of the other things fall in that other 27% including higher ed, public safety, etc. It is just a fact that the gas tax hasn’t kept pace with inflation. There isn’t money in the general fund to give to transportation.

      And the deal has always been that those that use the roads should pay for them. Can’t have your cake and eat it too, I’m afraid.

      • RS

        Let’s start with welfare fraud. People double dipping. Why won’t the government do anything about that? Oh yeah,,, votes. Oh let’s see,,,, how about using the funds that are set aside for items on those items instead of lining the pockets of Unions and politicians.

        • RichardOwens

          Welfare fraud should pay for about 200 feet of road.

          Then what?

        • Dave M

          “Welfare fraud” is everybody’s answer when asked pointedly what there is to cut.

      • a_tribe_called_chris

        If 44% of our state’s budget is already going to healthcare I think we need to ask why? I would support a single payer system since our current system is a sham that drives many to bankruptcy.

        • David P.

          Government spending in Minnesota for 2015 is projected at $59.7 billion. Health care is projected at $16.4 billion. That’s 27% of government spending, not 44%. A large piece of that spending is care and Rx support for elderly.
          The 44% noted is the percentage of health care dollars that are public dollars. Not 44% of the state’s budget. The Affordable Care Act has reduced the number of uninsured, and thus will reduce the % of public $ in the health care economy in the coming years.

  • Jim G

    Yes. Have you ever driven in another state and encountered terribly maintained roads? I have, though I won’t reveal those red states here. My first impression was, if this state won’t fund road maintenance, they won’t fund other quality of life indicators; K-12 and higher education, health care, social safety nets, etc.

    • a_tribe_called_chris

      No need to drive in another state as Minnesota has plenty of poorly maintained roads as it is

      • David P.

        Yes – a decade of neglect under Govenor TPaw has left us with a lot of fixing to do.

        • benlee

          T-Paw only had control for only 2 of 8 years. The democrat controlled legislature controls the purse and writes law. There was a good 50 if not 60 years of demoncrat control in front of T-Paw.

          • David P.

            In the 60 year window you site, the DFL had control for 24 of those years. Perhaps if the GOP wasn’t so busy purging the moderates from the party (they even kicked Gov. Arne Carlson out of the party, literally), and focus on serious policy rather than socially divisive issues, they would get something done.

          • benlee

            Give or take a few RINO repb governors, demoncrats have rule this state for freakin’ ever. FYI Arne Carlson was even “kicked off, literally” of the condo board he served on in Florida – where he now lives.

          • David P.

            Minnesota has had 40 governors. 14 have been Dem-Farmer-Labor. 25 were GOP, 1 was Ind-Reform party.
            Prior to Governor Dayton, it was 20 years since the last DFL governor.
            As for Arne Carlson, he never served on nor was he kicked off the condo board. He is a non-resident condo owner that ran for election to the board, but was defeated by the incumbent.

          • benlee

            You have to recall WHO had control of the legislature those 20 years. It was demoncrats. All the gov can do is sign or veto the bills written by the legislature. Governor Green Jeans, I mean T-Paw was another RINO who did lots of crap to “get along” with the demoncrats.

          • David P.

            The GOP held the House majority in 10 of the 20 years. Were they all RINO’s too? While you are certainly entitled to your ideology and opinions, the historical facts are a matter of record.
            Adios sir. I wish you well.

  • Jasper

    Yes. Driving personal cars is highly subsidized right now, and even though I commute by car every day, I understand that drivers should be contributing more to the upkeep of our roads, not to mention the deleterious effects of traffic on our environment.

  • kevins

    I do. Money spent on infrastructure blossoms into a cascade of benefits for citizen tax payers, businesses and even tourists that drop their dollars here. Out my way, we have some new roads that are a genuine pleasure to drive now (not so much in the past), and it is clear that someone in government had the courage and forethought to find ways to pay for them. Thanks.

  • Gary F

    Didn’t we just do an amendment a few years ago?

    • Dave M

      Yep. And as miles driven declines, and cars become more efficient, and roads become worse, more funds are needed.

    • David P.

      In 2008 it was raised by 5 cents to 25 cents.
      That quarter is worth 22.53 cents today.
      The last raise was in 1988, which raised the tax from 17 to 20 cents per gallon.
      That 20 cents is worth less than a dime today.
      Post script – Every Republican that supported the 2008 increase was kicked out of the party.

  • Jamie

    Would it go only to roads and bridges for the motorized vehicles that drive on them instead of being diverted for mass transit and bicycle lanes? If you want vehicles to pay for their own road maintenance, that’s the only place the funds raised by a gas tax should go.

    • I pay a Right-of-way assessment on my property tax bill. I rarely drive (maybe once a week) but walk, take transit, or bike for every other trip. I look forward to my refund.

      • Jamie

        The ROW maintenance assessment pays for the maintenance of streets, alleys, sidewalks, lighting and trees within city right-of-way.

        Where do you ride your bike and what mode of subsidized transit are you taking?

        • I’m well aware of that, but my wear/tear on those ROWs is fractions of what you put on while you drive your car all over god’s-use-to-be-green-but-is-now-all-paved-earth. I’m subsidizing the heck outta all those car drivers.

          • al anderson

            Unless you refuse anything that is transported to the locations you use or buy stuff from — you are just a hypocrite

          • JQP

            as are outstate owners who think paying for transit in the cities is not their responsibility… its all part of the same system. individuals don’t get picksie-choozie

          • I pay for transportation of goods in the cost of the goods. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, you drivers get a great deal as it is. Paying 5 more cents per gallon won’t kill you and still doesn’t cover road maintenance and all other associated costs.

      • al anderson

        I’d like to know how the retail stores you frequent get their inventory? How about clinics/hospitals? Restaurants/bars? How would an ambulance or police get to your place? That’s why roads are made/repaired from property taxes. One cannot make the same argument for bike trails, transit or otherwise. Leftists love to say roads are heavily subsidized — but its almost exclusively because of local infrastructure. Gas taxes are used for large projects.

        • JQP

          actually one can.
          roads – because of the property taxes – are for the use and benefit of everyone….not just the intangible benefit.

          bicycles are legal vehicles , as is transit. So they are getting factored in where in the past belligerent or ignorant car-thunkers failed to do it.

          the largest migration currently underway in America is from rural to urban . as urban density increases … cars are become both unnecessary and unaffordable ( garage, parking, insurance) … and transit is more highly desired. Bikes are rising as a primary personal vehicle type.

          Gas taxes are used for all sorts of projects… the money covers projects of all sizes. and it barely covers 3/7’s of the annual need that it is supposed to cover.

        • I pay for that inventory transport in the cost of the product. Do you think that the store just takes that on the chin? And I have no problem paying ROW assessments, but I do have a problem subsidizing heavy use by individuals. Are you trying to tell me that only delivery trucks are on the roads and that all wear/tear is from them? Also, gas taxes haven’t been raised since the 1990’s and the highway trust fund is broke. The Feds have been raiding the general fund to prop up highway expansion for years. So gas taxes may be used for large projects, but they don’t even cover 50%. Just pay a little more to drive, you’re already getting a sweet deal. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

  • Alan T

    NO I won’t support any new taxes. There is enough money if priorities are set to fix infrastructure roads. Light rail & bike trails are examples of rat holes that siphon the money away from the the Highway Trust fund.

    • JQP

      1) bikes and transit get cars off the road but not at a high enough rate to impact a lot of people.

      2) automobile ownership amount 16-28 years olds is at its lowest point in 50 years and dropping. they can’t afford the car and insurance on top of city living and most of them ( roughly 68%) move to cities for jobs – they want and need transit and bike friendly systems.

      3) lyft, uber, smart-cars, and other “car-sharing” programs are decreasing the need to own cars for long term.

      4) America got “sold” the car culture by an agressive lobby of car manufacturers that killed subsidies for transit and pushed it all over to roads/bridges… there was no savings for the tax payer.

      • Jamie

        America loved – and still loves – the car culture because it provides the freedom to go where you want, when you want to go there.

  • Laura

    No I do not support a gas tax. We already have money put in place for roads and bridges, this money is always being diverted to “other” projects. People PLEASE do your research and stop believing everything that is said by these politicians. We have funds that have been diverted and misused, now they want to cover that up by raising the gas tax. In a couple of years the “new tax” money will be diverted and misused as well. As a family we do with what we have and that needs to be the motto for the government as well. Stop wasting our money on “special interest” projects or “thanks for helping me get elected/re-elected” projects.

    • #protip not having to spend $10+k/yr/vehicle would go a further in helping your family’s finances.

    • Dave M

      Which funds have been diverted and misused?

      • John

        One thing they did a number of years ago when the state was broke was take the sales tax money (motor vehicle excise tax) from car sales and divert a bunch of it to the general fund. It may have happened more than once. That might be what she’s talking about.

        • Dave M

          The tax structure right now, and the budget surplus, are such that massive deficits shouldn’t be a problem anytime soon. There won’t be a temptation or a need to divert money. We no longer have a governor who engages in magic money shell games.

      • David P.

        Well, there is the $2,700,000,000,000 that President Reagan “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Fund in 1983.
        When something is “borrowed” and never repaid, is it still “borrowed’?

    • JQP

      government is not a family nor a business.

      if you want to drag the incorrect “family” into it… higher taxes is what a family does… as in “Son,, your mother lost her job and I got my hours cut… so you’ll have to turn some of your allowance back and we’ll need to get a job to pay for your clothes”

      if you want to drag the incorrect run government like a business into it … well Ramsey, Hennepin, Stearns, St. Louis and Goodhue counties are counties are getting expensive to run … we’ll shut down all down and then everyone moves to outstate MN and uses up resources there.

      • Jamie

        Or, more accurately, like a family that keeps making additional income but still can’t seem to pay the bills, you could stop spending money on wants and focus on needs.

        And, again more accurately, like a business whose sales are growing but the return to the owners is decreasing, fire the manager and bring in somebody who knows what they’re doing.

        Your scenarios indicated that there was less money. There’s not. The State of Minnesota raised taxes $2 Billion last year – and then cut them a small pittance this year for purposes of looking good in an election year.

  • John

    Yeah, we need to close this infrastructure gap. The problem is that gas prices are so volatile that this would hurt quite a few people during peak driving months. Why not have this increased gas tax kick in on September 15 every year and end May 1, right before fishing opener, when the prices always rise. It could be a bigger tax to offset the number of fewer months it’s in effect. Most of use wouldn’t notice it. Right now, with gas below $3.00, we could be adding a dime or more. We should also index this tax to inflation as I think Wisconsin has done. And it should be for roads and bridges only, not more bike trails and trains.

  • Probably should toss in some real numbers for thought.

  • Probably should toss in some real numbers for thought.

    • My apologies for poor DISQUS management there. Not sure what happened.

  • Guest

    ..

  • Sandy Peck

    Yes, we need to start somewhere.

  • David P.

    Clearly there needs to be some sort of financial model to support the maintenance and development of transportation infrastructure (and influence transportation choices). Gas tax? Well, what about e-cars? Tire tax? Mileage tax? Tollways? Tab fees? I don’t think that there is one answer that will satisfy everyone and address the issue, but some sort of gas tax seems to be the most practical solution until we can figure out a more comprehensive policy.
    Perhaps rather than a flat tax per gallon we should have the tax as a percentage tied to gas prices. Or a combination of tax per gallon and a tax percentage?
    We could lift all subsidies to the industry (that’s your tax dollars) and pay what gas actually costs – something in the $10 gallon range I suspect. That would certainly make mass transit more cost effective, and curb the urge to use 2,000 pounds of steel and plastic to fetch a loaf of bread from 4 blocks away.
    Or we could go back to the previous administration’s plan – ignore the issue of road maintenance and drive 4-wheel drive vehicles.

  • Jon

    It’s at least better than forcing people to stop to pay a toll

    • Dave M

      Illinois has open-road tolling.

      • Jon

        That could work, though we should generally avoid running our state more like Illinois

  • whitedoggie44

    “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
    If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
    If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat
    If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet”
    Should be Mark Daytons re-election slogan from the Beatles great lyrics.

    • David P.

      We are projected to be $6,500,000,000 short over the next 10 years for transportation infrastructure funding. How would you bridge that gap?

      • whitedoggie44

        I have no idea, but good luck with hitting that all important #1 for total per capita tax burden. Only 7 spots to reach #1.

        • David P

          Let us know when you have an idea.

          • whitedoggie44

            Let me know when you reach that important #1 spot on confiscating income. Good news, I bailed out years ago.

      • benlee

        A good start would be using the gasoline tax, the myriad of other auto related taxes, and the lotto as they were intended – for roads and bridges….

        • David P.

          According to the House history, the original distribution was 50% to Environmental programs, 50% to the Greater Minnesota Corporation. In 1989 an amendment was passed that changed the allocation to 40% Environmental, 35% Infrastructure, 25% Greater Minnesota Corporation – with the 40% Environmental guaranteed for 10 years. In 1991 another amendment reallocated revenues to 60% to the General Fund.
          http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/gambits.pdf
          Perpich (DFL) was the Governor in ’89, Carlson (GOP) the Governor in ’91.

    • JQP

      we’ll borrow today and have our kids pay was the Pawlenty model…now MN has a very large debt service ( with interest) to pay… basically roads/bridges cost about 10-15% more.

      That is pretty much what Jeff Johnson will wind up doing… because MN has been cutting state workforce, programs and agency funding levels for about 9 years now. The Low hanging “savings” are gone. and Jeff hasn’t bravely or honestly declared what he would cut if the easy saving aren’t there.

      I can tell you what he would do…
      – cut K-12 school funding and that will kick your property taxes up,
      – cut social services programs which – which will impact suburbs heavily because low-middle income families are the largest growing recipient base due to wage-stagnation.
      – cut DNR/PCA and MnSCU funding so our kids pay more for college and local pollution issues go unmanaged.

      • whitedoggie44

        Forgot the most important line
        “There’s one for you and nineteen for me” the me of course would be state government.

        Sorry will never agree you can tax your way to prosperity. Why has texas created more jobs than California and New York combined in past 5 years and now is home to more fortune 1000 job creating companies than any state? Not because of high taxes.

        No worries as I and 2000 other high income execs relocated out of MN years ago. Good luck.

        • scott

          Texas is in a race to the bottom.

          • benlee

            You’re confused. That is Minne according to the latest from the Bureau of Labor Statistics who just released its most recent Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
            “New data ranks Minnesota last in Midwest in private sector job creation.”

          • David P.

            What does taking a snap-shot of a long economic cycle have to do with the TQ?

        • JQP

          rubbish.
          Texas has the highest business purchasing ( er.. tax incentive ) program there is.

          Short term its fine… but .. once the obligation settles in ( more people, requiring more infrastructure/schools/services ) and there is no tax revenue to pay for the states obligations.

          Lastly , Texas the #1 or 2 highest number of employees working at or below minimum wage. Jobs?… perhaps. Careers?.. I ‘m not so sure.

          • whitedoggie44

            Texas is not perfect but they have created a system that generates millions of high and low paying jobs and is a Mecca for business expansion and growth. Typical liberal, low paying jobs are somehow worse than than food stamps and welfare. The metro of Dallas ft worth alone creates more jobs In a year than the entire state of MN. Oh wait, I forget, this is bad news!!

          • JQP

            Texas , like North Dakota , gets a massive boost from energy development. Much of their economies are cross-dependent on that simple fact.

            As for the typical liberal slur … low paying jobs are worse in an economic perspective that views jobs as a means to improve ones self.

            Texas want to build a broader economy … and low wage jobs inhibit that trend. Self-training, self-investment and self-employment are all relatively expensive – especially to the low-wage crowd just trying to cover rent, food, transportation, and simple expenses.

            the typical conservative ( return slur) is that somehow the pain and frustration of working-poverty drives improvement is a perpetual fallacy. Motivation without any assets isn’t enough.

            The United States has one of the lowest percentages of people of transitioning from poverty to middle-income among all 1st and 2nd tier economic nations. Wage supression has contributed to a 38% decline in wealth and assets in the low and middle income brackets while taxation has accounted for a 14% decline. Essentially wage supression is a 3 times greater problem for low income people trying to grow wealth or assets on which they could improve themselves.

            Basically … low-wage individuals and families tend to stay low wage. the result.. in Texas and other low-wage states is… corporations benefit (profit) at the expense of citizens.

      • benlee

        T-Paw had a democrat legislature who controlled the purse. He could do NOTHING.

        • David P.

          Sounds like a leadership issue.

  • Rosemount MN

    We have to pay for the roads and bridges somehow. They have become terrible in the years and years of budget cuts. Better than toll roads.

    • benlee

      What budget cuts? There have been NONE.

      • David P.

        Maybe you should read TPaw’s book. He takes credit for cutting the budget during his tenure. Not just reducing growth, but cutting total spending from prior years. Considering the growing population, his cuts per capita are even deeper.

  • a_tribe_called_chris

    I would not support a new gas tax unless the following
    conditions were met:

    1-
    It is truly dedicated to road based transportation

    2-
    It is designed to be a user fee. If I primarily
    utilize transit and someone else commutes by car 100 miles each day they should
    be paying more on this front.

    Now if the state had any sense and respected the rights and
    will of its citizens it would do the following.

    1-
    Seek a voter referendum approved funding measure
    dedicated to roads and transit.

    2-
    Seek this out across the 11 metro counties in Minnesota
    as an increased gas tax as well as an increase in the sales tax for transit
    funding.

    3-
    Look at instituting a mileage based tax as well.

    4-
    Dedicate these funds and not allow any
    re-direction without another voter approved referendum.

    5-
    Call out specific projects with these funds so
    the voters can weigh the value added. For example, expand I-94 between Maple
    Grove and St Cloud complete the Northstar to St Cloud and speed up other BRT
    and LRT projects in the metro.

  • John R.

    If we want to invest into our roads and bridges, then a gas tax isn’t the answer to the main problem. Instead, existing transportation infrastructure should be funded directly through higher corporate tax rates and a shareholder tax via transactions on Wall Street from local Fortune 500 companies. And we shouldn’t be building new roads or bridges as deliberate pet projects by AFSCME without a full independent review whether these projects are considered worthy investments to the general public. On the contrary, the gas tax is nothing more than legalized theft struggling American workers in which their money is being used to encourage urban sprawl where higher income Americans can relocate in white-dominated suburban Kafkaesque communities where local public investments like police, fire, and water services are totally non-existence. This government social experiment does not provide any good outcomes to our fragile society in which we, as a country, is facing an alarming rate of income inequality ever since the American Gilded age of the 1920s. Wealthy Americans have never put any money into our deteriorating roads or byways because they have an attitudinal fundamental belief that more income means you should be paying less to the government, but keep passing the buck onto poor Americans to pay for burdensome costs to Uncle Same to which they cannot afford.

    I’m sorry folks, but the Governor’s proposal for funding our roads and bridges in Minnesota is flat out wrong, unethical, and politically misguided. The DFL has always hated the poor in Minnesota with crazy taxpayer schemes that only benefit their rich friends who contribute the party’s coffers with fat donation checks. This is corruption at its finest.

    • JQP

      that just reminds me of the Edsel.

  • Ben Groetsch

    Margaret Thatcher had it right with excessive government spending programs: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.”

    • Jim G

      The top 0.01% of US households have quadrupled their share of the nation’s wealth in last 35 years. I don’t think they’ll run out of their gains.

    • Dave M

      We can just pave our roads with platitudes.

    • JQP

      somebody built that infrastructure and the expectation that we would keep building more to facilitate commerce.
      if you are suggesting that we stop building any new infrastructure and only spend to fix-maintain what we got… we are underfunded for that by about 30-40 % per year.
      If you are suggesting that we simply abandon existing roads as they become to “dangerous” … you would kill business.
      If you’re suggesting that we adopt tolls… may have something there… but to cover costs with tolls alone would be … very expensive and typically pushes people to transit or surface streets.

      There is no cheap easy solution for infrastructure.

  • JQP

    We could declare a 50 year moratorium on new roads/bridges and ONLY repair/replace existing infrastructure.. and we still couldn’t fund that program with our current funding streams.

    There’s your problem. The boomer-legislatures kept putting off the necessary increase of gas & vehicle taxes to fund transportation construction, management and repair.

    One of the facets of taxes is that they act like a deterrent on excessive behavior. But in this case the state of MN hid the true costs of transportation infrastructure and now… when the decay is in must-repair status and funds are lowest… does the conversation really get serious….. 40 years too late.

    • benlee

      Nice try, but the “boomer-legislature” has not been in power that long. The democrats however, have been in power for the last 50-60 years give or take a few republican governors. Yeah yeah, I know, blame the republicans who had power for 2 years (AND increased the budget) but not the dems who have ruled theis state for decades.

      • JQP

        Check your demographics benlee

        Baby Boomers were defined as those born between 1945 and 1964.

        Boomers have been in the legislature since 1970’s and taking dominance in the 1980’s. All boomers suffer from the perception that next year/time it’ll be better and the problems will go away… Well the millenials are here to tell them… that was a lie , the problems are sitll here and boomers need to shut it and listen to the folks who have to clean up.

        the democrats kept getting back in control as often as they did because … the voters kept putting in. Pretty simple..

      • David P.

        Of the past 15 governors, 5 have been from the DFL, 9 from the GOP and 1 from the Reform/Independence party.

        • benlee

          Since 1971:
          Anderson (DFL)
          Perpich (DFL)
          Quie (R)
          Perpich (DFL)
          Carlson (RINO)
          Ventura (I aka IINO Independent in name only)
          Pawlenty (R)
          Dayton (DFL)
          4 demoncrats, 2 repubs 1 RINO, 1 Independent.

          • David P.

            You might as well add Governor Quie to your RINO (aka closet DFLer) list, as he was purged from the GOP along with Arne Carlson (and George Pillsbury, Dave Durenberger, Jim Ranstad, David Jennings, Doug Kelly and a dozen more). Lincoln and Ike wouldn’t meet the ideological litmus test required to be in the modern GOP. If the past 40+ years have only produced one true GOP governor, maybe the party needs to reread their Tea leaves.

  • regular_guy

    Virtually everything you buy travels by road and basic public safety requires roadways so even if you use transit 100%, you are still benefitting by the existence of roadways. The gas tax is an anachronism and it will get worse as mpg increases and electric/hybrid vehicles are a larger percentage of the traveling public and essentially ignores the real impact to roadways – the class of vehicle being driven and the number of miles travelled. So I think we need to remove the gas tax and move to a system of mileage fees and registration costs based on class of vehicle, not sales price and age. Last point is priorities – if the roads are deteriorating that badly, why are we diverting more and more resources to transit projects that benefit a few thousand folks who use transit rather than benefitting the millions of citizens? We seem to be short-changing ourselves.

  • Luke W.

    How about a new Senate tax? Charge them rent on their new offices at least until the building is paid off. Put that money into the roads.

  • Davejs

    Hell no money is spent on trains that are used by 1% and with huge up front and CONTINUED OPERATING costs raising. A bus line does more for less and money needed for roads for a bus is used on the roads.

  • Emery

    Road maintenance pays for repairs to roads caused by cars driving over
    them. That damage is a linear function of distance driven, and a
    non-linear function of the weight of the vehicle (heavy vehicles cause
    much more damage). If we wish to charge people/vehicles according to the
    damage they cause to the roads, the sensible approach is to multiply
    the annual mileage by a non-linear function of a vehicle’s weight
    representing damage cost per unit mile and weight.

    • David P.

      A combination of the gas tax would and a license tab fee based on vehicle weight would certainly be a relatively fair and administratively cost effective implementation of your idea.

  • mads

    Of course!
    You get what you pay for ——– and—– if the government doesn’t do it with taxes on the citizens who need the services — who will.
    Ya wanna get out there start building your own road?

  • mtm

    Here is an idea, take the money away from all of the toy trains and use it where it came from-gas tax. If you was toy trains let those who use them make the payments for the trains!! Leeches!!

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    As long as the money goes toward repairing and replacing existing infrastructure. It makes little sense for the taxpayer to fund new roads out in exurbia to enable more sprawl and less efficiency in the transportation network.

  • Mike McGrath

    yes