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Saturday, August 04, 2007

I-35W And The Vetoed 5 Cent
Per Gallon Gas Tax

Earlier this year in Minnesota, the Tax-And-Spend-Happy Democrats in the State Legislature wanted to increase by 5 cents the gas tax on every gallon of gasoline to the already existing .20 cent per gallon tax.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (a Republican that I did not vote to re-elect in November, 2006 - if I may remind you) wisely vetoed this tax hike. He made it known to the Dems that he would veto their proposal, but motivated by purely partisan mentality, the Dems went ahead with their plan knowing full well it would be rejected by Pawlenty.

Now - with the post-I35W bridge collapse - Pawlenty says he is open to a tax hike on gasoline and is floating the idea of calling a special session of the Minnesota Legislature, sometime after Labor Day, in order to address the I-35W Mississippi Bridge collapse.

The main issue up for discussion is a proposal for increasing the gasoline tax by .05 cent per gallon to be used for highways and bridges. A special session isn't necessary, neither is a .05 per cent gallon of gas tax. Let me take a moment to remind everyone that for several years that state Democrats, and some Republicans, have voted over and over to raid the funds collected by gasoline taxes and spending it everywhere but highways, roads and bridges.

Minnesota has approximately a $2.2 Billion dollar surplus. Pawlenty - for all the blame being heaped upon him for vetoing two Democrat tax and spend bills for highways and bridges - had his own plan for infrastructure. He wanted to borrow the money rather than by increasing and creating taxes. His plan was shot down by the Democrats.

Had Pawlenty approved the 5 cent per gallon gas tax, there is no doubt in my mind that the Democrats - in a post-bridge collapse scenario - would be responding with a "we didn't raise the gas tax high enough" mentality. Have you ever known any Democrat who couldn't fix anything by proposing higher taxes?

The new bridge will cost between $200-$500 Million dollars. This can easily be paid for by using money in the surplus in conjunction with federal funding from Washington D.C. There simply is no reason for a special session or increasing the per-gallon of gas tax.



Bullshit, Dr. Drake! You know who I am and who I work for. The .20 cent per gallon tax isn't worth shit anymore. There has been a decreasing amount of funds available for the simplest of road projects over the years. Five cents per gallon is a drop in the bucket. In the short term, there needs to be immediate bonding to repair as much of the deferred maintenance that we can. There are a lot of bridges in Minnesota that I will not drive on, today. The DOT is operated at about half of the personnel that it had just 10 years ago. We need serious paradigm shift.
Modesto - what are you talking about and please be specific.

Are you denying that funds raised from the gas tax have NOT been raided for purposes totally unrelated to highways, roads and bridges? This is no secret.

Commuter rail has had mega-million dollar funding and light rail will never, ever pay for itself. This money would have been far better spent on highways, roads and bridges.

Hennepin County manages to tax their population for a fikkin new Twins Stadium instead of highways and bridges. $776 Million as a matter of fact. That would have paid for a hell of a nice Mississippi Bridge. But no, the Libs who run Mpls prefer to subsidize a fucking billionaire.

$98+++ million for the North Star commuter rail line which will never pay for itself - never break "even", it will ALWAYS need t be subsidized.

Define "a lot of bridges" - 2? 10? 20? You're entitled to your paranoia, but if construction work wasn't going on, it is probably unlikely the bridge would have collapsed on its own. I'm not blaming MNDot for the collapse.

Why are you against paying for bridge reconstruction out of the surplus?

"Paradigm shift" ??? Did you accidentally stumble across a dictionary?
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