Facing a May 23 deadline to pass legislation, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) May 16 proposed two compromise plans to increase transportation funding. One proposal includes a 5 cents-per-gallon gas tax increase and an increase in license fees, while the second plan would eliminate the gas tax increase and institute a larger increase in license tab (registration) fees. Additionally, both plans would permit a local one-half cent sales tax increase in order to fund transit in the metro area as well as an annual $200 million transfer from the state General Fund.
While Republican legislative leaders expressed support for the plan that excludes a gas tax increase, Democratic lawmakers voiced concern over the amount of the license tab fees and reiterated their support for a state gas tax increase.
Update May 17, 3:00 p.m.:
In response to Gov. Dayton’s proposal, House Republicans released a plan May 17 to increase transportation funding by by $6 billion over the next ten years. The proposal would utilize $300 million annually in existing funds, as well as $200 million from trunk highway and general obligation bonds and an additional $100 million from “modifications to the depreciation schedule of tab fees”.