A letter in last week's Advocate takes State Sen. Steve Dille to task for supporting an increase in the state's gas tax. The letter writer (David Anderson, Londsdale) goes to great length to assert that last session's transportation bill included a number of new taxes and/or fees that will further burden the state's drivers.
For example, the writer speaks about a "wheelage tax." One problem though is that this proposal was not directed at all vehicles in the state. This proposal was only to allow certain metro-area counties to assess a fee on vehicles registered in their borders to help fund construction projects. And why, one should wonder, are counties being forced to take this step? Because the state has not done its job in properly funding transportation construction.
The letter writer also uses the phrase "there has not been a gas tax increase recently." Recently? Does almost two decades - 19 years to be precise - qualify as recently? Not, I doubt, in the eyes of most Minnesotans and residents of Senate District 18.
Falling bridges aside, this state is doing a tremendous disservice to its economic competitiveness by continuing to ignore the issue. Asking Minnesota motorists to ante up a small amount more per gallon must be part of an overall transportation solution.
Remember, Dean Urdahl voted for the gas tax before he was called into the Principal's office and told to vote no, sustaining the Governor's veto.
Gotta love politicians who put politics before the people!