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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Chamber of Commerce calls for higher taxes

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce gets it: in order to deal with our woefully underfunded transportation system, we are going to need to raise taxes. They are calling for a five cent per gallon increase in the gas tax, as well as dedicating at least 80% of the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax (MVST) to transportation and transit. Currently, much of the money from the MVST goes to the General Fund. They even have a list of projects they want to accelerate here, including things like a dedicated bus lane along 35W and much-needed expansions of 494 and 694 to three lanes in each direction.

Businesses realize that the transportation funding deficit has a real economic impact, and that money wasted in traffic is worse than paying more in gas tax. Will the governor go back on his "no new taxes" pledge to support this? I doubt it.

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