Tuesday, February 26, 2008

DFL Veto Override Starts Minnesota on the Space Race

Man these guys made a tough political call. Some Republicans have already paid the price for it, but everyone in Minnesota will be better off because of it. The Democrat-Farmer-Labor party or DFL decided that they needed to pay for infrastructure by raising the gas and car tab taxes. Of course this doesn't mean much for people who drive fuel efficient cars. But here is the Republican complaint...

He said higher gas taxes and registration fees for more expensive and larger vehicles could encourage people to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles, "which will save families money."

But Republicans stressed that families who drive long distances in larger vehicles would be hit harder.

As an example, they said a family of four in Bemidji could see its total taxes increase as much as $373 per year, assuming that the family bought a 9-year-old car and a one-year-old SUV and drove more than 35,000 miles a year. The SUV in the example gets 17 miles per gallon, and the car gets 22.

Geez, whine a little more about paying for what you use why don't you. If you drive more, that means you're using the roads more, whats wrong with paying more? It was their choice to live in a place where they had to drive more.

The $6 Billion + dollar bill is also good for transit...

Under another provision, a quarter-cent sales tax increase would occur in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area without a referendum, with all proceeds going to transit projects. The sales tax needs action by the county boards.

The sales tax would raise an estimated $1.1 billion over 10 years. In Hennepin County, the state's most populous, it would generate more than half of that amount, or $606 million. Last year, Hennepin County residents began paying a 0.15 percentage point sales tax, approved without a referendum, to help fund a stadium for the Minnesota Twins.

It would allow 8 planned rail and bus corridors to be built by 2020, entering the Twin Cities officially as a serious contender into the Transit Space Race! Welcome to the club.
Advocates estimated the bill would provide an extra $117 million to $173 million a year for rail and bus service. If federal matching funds could be secured, that would be enough to deliver eight new transitways, for trains or buses, by 2020 -- including the southwest light-rail line eagerly awaited by the western suburbs, the advocates said Wednesday.


Christina, a city planner for St. Paul said...

Can you believe it came to this in a state where our bridges are literally falling down? We must have the worst governor in the the entire country. Those Republicans who crossed over and voted for transit are heros who understand that their legacy will long outlive Pawlenty's tantrum.

Avidor said...

Here's a video about the strange coalition who were opposed to rail transit in Minnesota.