MN Republicans Release Details of Transportation Funding Proposal
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota House and Senate Republicans want to tap the state's budget surplus, reroute existing tax revenue and borrow toward a $7 billion upgrade goal for roads and bridges over the coming decade.
The plan released Monday is smaller than Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's nearly $11 billion proposal, primarily because it has far fewer dollars for mass transit projects. But the GOP blueprint is closer in size when it comes to roadways, and theirs doesn't call for higher gasoline taxes as Dayton relies on.
In the Republican proposal, hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes from auto part sales, rental vehicles and leases would be earmarked transportation instead of going into the general treasury. It also calls for $2.3 billion in borrowing.
Senate Democrats are advancing a plan similar to Dayton's.
Summary of Republican proposal:
The Road and Bridge Act of 2015 creates a special fund called the Transportation Stability Fund that collects existing proceeds from dedicated tax revenues and deposits them into accounts for each of their dedicated purpose. There are five accounts that would dedicate a combined $3.078 billion over ten years:
Road and Bridge Account – revenue from existing sales tax on auto parts
Metro Capital Improvements Account – revenue from existing sales tax on rental vehicles
Small Cities Account – revenue from existing rental vehicle tax
Greater Minnesota Bus Services Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax
Suburban County Highway Account – revenue from 50% of existing Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax