Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I35-W Gas Tax Hike Polls Unfavorably
Governor [Tim] Pawlenty and the Legislature seem ready to approve a gas tax if the money would be used to maintain roads and bridges.
But how would a gas tax be perceived by Minnesotans?
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS teamed up with Survey USA to find out.
Many politicians have called for the gas tax increase to shore up aging highways and bridges.
"This is really a call to action and this is a duty that we need to fulfill on behalf of the memory of people who've lost their lives," House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher said.
But so far, it appears most Minnesotans don't agree. Fifty-seven percent of people surveyed say the state should not increase the state gas tax. Only 38 percent say it should go up.
Of those who want a gas tax increase, 47 percent would prefer an increase of less than five cents. Another 35 percent say they would pay 5 to 7 cents. But few would pay more.
Despite the poll numbers, a special session could result in at least a modest increase in the gas tax. All of these questions will likely be answered within a month.
Minnesota House of Representatives Speakeress Large Marge Kelliher (sorry all you feminists who can only exist and have an identity with hyphenated last names - you only get one last name on this blog) is typical of the Democrat mentality that the answer to everything is confiscating more and more and more of the money you earn. I call her Large Marge because she's one of those "full...REALLY FULL-figured " gals; topping the scale - my guess - anywhere between 300-400 pounds. Maybe the bridge collapsed because Large Marge took one too many car rides over it?
With the collapse of the Minneapolis I-35W bridge, Liberals found a reason to hype increasing taxes on gasoline and potentially on future vehicle registration fees. Many Republicans and RINOs are eagerly jumping on this tax hike bandwagon. There is no need to increase any taxes for roads and bridges.
.40 cents of every dollar from Minnesota's 2006 Transportation Amendment is spent on non-road and non-bridge projects. .40 cents out of every dollar, instead of being spent on highways, roads and bridges, is instead spent on public transit. Minnesota's Light Rail will always be a drain on the taxpayer. Well, thanks a lot to every Democrat and Republican who voted for such an asinine caveat to this amendment.
Career politician, Democrat Jim Oberstar, Minnesota's U.S. House of Representative for the Eighth District, is doing his goose-step lobbying for a
House Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar proposed a temporary gas tax increase of 5 cents a gallon Wednesday, which would pay for a new trust fund to repair, replace and rehabilitate structurally deficient bridges on the National Highway System.
"If you're not prepared to invest another five cents in bridge reconstruction and road reconstruction," Oberstar said, "then God help you."
The obvious answer and solution to adequately funding roads and highways is to cease and desist raiding funds collected from gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees. This pot of money - supposedly collected for highway and bridge maintenance - is raided over and over again, redistributed for all kinds or purposes instead of solely being designated for highways and bridges. This is not unique only to Minnesota, with Oberstar wanting to pay for a "new trust fund." These Democrats simply are not happy or functional unless they are creating new ways to tax and spend and tax and spent, into perpetuity.
The estimated balance or receipts - and I want to emphasize the word "estimated" - trust fund receipts, according to the Highway DOT Trust Fund Overview for 2007 is $34.6 Billion dollars with estimated outlays of $38.2 Billion. The same report shows that in 2006 the estimate receipts as $34.1 Billion dollars with outlays of $34.5 Billion dollars. (Same report HERE in pdf format.)
The collapse of the I35-W bridge, to repeat myself ad-nauseum, is not a matter of not having enough money for infrastructure. It's a matter of spending the money collected for what it is intended to be spent on rather than raiding that fund, or reallocating that money into the general fund where Democrats, and many Republicans, raid that money for every special purpose under the sun, spending it everywhere except on highways and bridges.
Call your local legislator and Governor Pawlenty and tell them NO to the gas tax hike. It is an unnecessary "solution" to a problem that doesn't need fixing. The solution is keeping the collected monies in an account for which it is created instead of Democrats continually raiding said fund, treating it as if it's an unlimited cash machine.
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