Readers’ Views

Gas-tax hike nonsense

To the Editor:

Despite bipartisan opposition, Minnesota House Democrats passed a transportation finance proposal that would force drivers to pay 20 cents per gallon more at the pumps — a 70 percent increase — and raises taxes by more than $4 billion dollars over four years.

I voted no on the plan.

I hate the fact that the majority has prioritized a 20-cent per gallon gas tax increase along with license tab fee hikes. In our district, we have people who commute in and out of Fairmont each day for work. For low-income residents, this type of increase will literally consume one of their paychecks.

In addition to the 20-cent per gallon increase, which would give Minnesota the fourth-highest gas tax in the country, the House Democrat transportation bill increases the vehicle registration tax, the metro sales tax and the new vehicle sales tax, and will increase taxes on Minnesotans by a combined $2.3 billion dollars.

The bill also transfers statutorily dedicated auto parts sales tax funds — $417 million in 2020-21 — into the general fund, then requires a significant amount of the gas tax increase to refill those transferred funds. This reverses major investments the Legislature made during the last biennium to fund road and bridge infrastructure without a gas tax increase.

We already have a permanent, dedicated funding stream that will help us fund roads and bridges without raising your taxes. The Democrats want to eliminate that and force you to pay 20 cents per gallon more instead. It’s as simple as that, and it’s ridiculous.

The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.

State Rep. Bob Gunther,

R-Fairmont

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