Minnesota House Passes Transportation Bill
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota House has staked out its position in a debate over long-term transportation funding with a plan that avoids a gas-tax increase.
Tuesday's 73-59 vote isn't the final word. The Democratic-led Senate has yet to vote on its proposal that does include a new fuel tax, something Gov. Mark Dayton has also called for.
The House bill would redirect existing taxes on auto parts, vehicle leases and car rentals to highway construction and borrow billions more. All told, it would draw in $7 billion for road-and-bridge projects over the next decade.
Democratic Rep. Joe Atkins blasted the plan as dependent on "shifts and gimmicks and debt." Republican Rep. Tim Kelly defended it as a new way of tackling the problem given the eroding buying power of Minnesota's gas tax.