Posted at 7:28 PM on February 25, 2008
by Tom Scheck
I'm sure you know by now that the Legislature has voted to override Gov. Pawlenty's veto of a bill that spends $6.6 billion on transportation over the next ten years.
Clearly the override means that the gas tax, metro sales tax and license tab fees are going up. In exchange, there will be increased investment in roads, bridges and transit. But what does it mean for the future of the legislative session?
Can lawmakers and Governor Pawlenty put this behind them and work together to balance the budget?
Will Democrats and Republicans in the House put the vote behind them and work together or will the veto override showdown sour the atmosphere?
What’s next for the six Republicans who voted for the override? There’s word that some of their committee assignments and staff are being taken away. Some (see Ron Erhardt) already have challengers for the GOP endorsement. Are others to come? Does it matter?
What does this mean for the vulnerable DFLers in the Minnesota House? Are they more vulnerable in November because of this vote?
They can't possibly raise taxes again this session, can they?
Let us now hope that there will be sufficient oversight to ensure that all appropriate taxes are dedicated to Minnesota roads and bridges, and not diverted to aunauthorized projects.
How much is this going to cost a person who drives 12,000 miles/year?
$51. The cost of dinner for two at a fairly upscale restaurant is how much it will cost the average driver with a car that gets 20 miles/gallon. And that's only after the entire 8.5 cents/gallon is factored in. Anyone who complains about this should just spend a week not driving if they're worried about how to pay for this ridiculously small tax increase.
$51? How do you figure? I am reading elsewhere that this is the biggest tax increase. But you're saying it's the smallest tax increase. No this is not sarcasm on my part. I sincerely wish a clarification. Thank you!
Republicans like to call this the biggest tax increase ever - based on total dollar amount. But as a percentage of current operating economic dollars in 2008, the increase is fairly moderate.