LETTER: Stumpf should rethink support for tax hike
Everyone at the Legislature agrees that funding our transportation infrastructure is a top priority this session. Both Republicans and Democrats agree on how important it is to families to be able to get to home, work, school and other commitment...
Everyone at the Legislature agrees that funding our transportation infrastructure is a top priority this session. Both Republicans and Democrats agree on how important it is to families to be able to get to home, work, school and other commitments safely and quickly, and we understand our economy will suffer if nothing is done.
But we have very different ideas on how to make sure our transportation needs are met.
Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, missed an opportunity recently to support a sustainable, long-term transportation funding plan that prioritizes our roads and bridges without increasing taxes. Instead, he voted to raise $2 billion in unpopular gas taxes and other fees.
Under Stumpf's plan, Minnesotans will pay more when they drive to work, school or pick up their kids from soccer practice. This will add up to hundreds or even thousands of new taxes per year per family.
Don't forget, Democrats imposed the largest tax increase in state history just two years ago. Now, especially with a projected $2 billion budget surplus, Stumpf is way out of line to suggest another tax increase is needed to fund basic government infrastructure like roads and bridges. Those things should be prioritized in the state budget already.
Republicans offered a common-sense solution that invests in roads and bridges using money that's already in the system-money that should have been spent on transportation long ago.
It is a reliable funding stream that will invest $7 billion to repair or replace 15,500 miles of roads and 330 bridges statewide. And we did it by cutting wasteful spending, budgeting smartly and using part of the existing budget surplus-NOT by raising taxes.
The Republican plan won bipartisan support in the House. It's good for our economy, good for roads and bridges and most important, good for families.
Stumpf was wrong not to consider it, and I think he owes us Minnesotans an explanation for asking for more from middle-class taxpayers rather than doing the hard work to prioritize transportation with the taxes we already pay.