MNGOP’s Anti-Rybak #5: Gas Taxes

With the MN GOP’s talking points, it’s all “how much?” but never about “why?” when it comes to taxes.

Raise Gas Tax

Rybak Backed State Gas Tax Hike Of 5-Cent-A-Gallon. “Eight Minnesota mayors called Tuesday for more transportation spending and urged legislators to pass a 5-cent-a-gallon increase in the state’s gasoline tax before they adjourn for the year. The group was led by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak…” (Laurie Blake, “8 mayors call for higher gas tax,” Star Tribune, May 1, 2002)

Back in 2002, mayors from Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Montevideo, Mankato, St. Cloud, Rosemount and West St. Paul realized that something needed to be done to improve our transportation infrastructure. This was five years before the 35W bridge collapsed. Were they wrong to suggest that our transportation infrastructure was in need or more resources?

Updating our transportation infrastructure doesn’t seem like a partisan issue to me, considering that one can hear callers complaining about potholes and congestion during drive-time on nearly every radio station in Minnesota. No one WANTS to pay for it, but some have the maturity to realize that it costs money to build and maintain things (and that some things are worth building and maintaining). A gas tax provides a tight correlation with road use, so it seems like an appropriate tax to use to fund transportation investments.

Perhaps the MN GOP would consider rewriting this one to say, “Back in 2002, Rybak, along with seven other mayors, worked to find a way to cut down on congestion and improve local roads and bridges. The cost: five cents a gallon.”

One thought on “MNGOP’s Anti-Rybak #5: Gas Taxes”

  1. Here’s another piece that should be part of that post: Gas prices in 2002 averaged $1.183. I strongly doubt anyone in that meeting in 2002 would suggest raising taxes after prices inflated so much in the last couple years. The GOP tried to do the exact thing to Franken last cycle about a similar old comment.

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