2015-16 MN Legislative Session & Budget

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twincitizen
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2015-16 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby twincitizen » November 22nd, 2014, 12:15 am

Picking up where we left off in the "2014 MN House Elections" thread, let's start with some quotes from Tom Bakk: http://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_2 ... pects-calm

Nice to hear him say he can't see a transportation bill moving forward without consideration for transit. Perhaps Tom Bakk is the person we need to sell on the "let the metro tax themselves" message, and he can then sell it to Kurt Daudt.

mattaudio
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Re: 2015 Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mattaudio » December 1st, 2014, 8:50 am

Minneapolis to push state for more interpreters at polling places
http://www.startribune.com/politics/sta ... 80571.html
As usual, don't. read. the. comments.

David Greene
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Re: 2015 Legislative Session & Budget

Postby David Greene » December 1st, 2014, 10:48 am

mattaudio wrote:As usual, don't. read. the. comments.
On the contrary, I think it is very important for those of us in the majority to read the comments so we can understand what our brothers and sisters are up against. If anyone ever tells you racism is a problem that's passed, point them to Strib comments.

ECtransplant
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Re: 2015 Legislative Session & Budget

Postby ECtransplant » December 1st, 2014, 6:59 pm

Unless you're a teacher, it's not your job to educate the ignorant pricks -- neither those in the comments section nor those who think racism doesn't exist

EOst
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Re: 2015 Legislative Session & Budget

Postby EOst » December 1st, 2014, 7:29 pm

It might be your job as a citizen though.

LakeCharles
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Re: 2015 Legislative Session & Budget

Postby LakeCharles » December 4th, 2014, 12:02 pm

$1 billion surplus projected at the state level.
Last edited by LakeCharles on December 4th, 2014, 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gpete
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Re: 2015 Legislative Session & Budget

Postby gpete » December 4th, 2014, 12:43 pm

Does anyone know if there have been serious discussions at the Capitol recently about including inflation in budget expenditure projections? Still can't believe that we stopped doing that. Thanks Roger Moe and Tim Pawlenty!


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Tcmetro
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Re: 2015 Legislative Session & Budget

Postby Tcmetro » December 5th, 2014, 11:00 pm

I heard on MPR that inflation is going to eat up the entire surplus. Seems logical to include it in the budget.

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Re: 2015 Legislative Session & Budget

Postby gpete » December 6th, 2014, 10:45 am

Yeah, circa 2002, we stopped including inflation in the expenditures projection. But we do use inflation for revenue projections! Terrible gimmick.


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twincitizen
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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby twincitizen » December 23rd, 2014, 4:10 pm

It was buried in a locked F&C article about something completely unrelated, but the MN Transportation Alliance is calling for a 6.5% sales tax on gasoline. Republicans are already saying it's dead in the water, so there's that...

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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby RailBaronYarr » December 24th, 2014, 8:50 am

twincitizen wrote:It was buried in a locked F&C article about something completely unrelated, but the MN Transportation Alliance is calling for a 6.5% sales tax on gasoline. Republicans are already saying it's dead in the water, so there's that...
If focusing on revenues for roads via gasoline is the angle, I'm not sure why simply raising the gas tax is such a hard concept. Obviously I support other user charges that are a bit more space/time specific, and a shift away from gas-reliance as EVs become more prevalent, but for now a bump shouldn't be difficult..

Side note, my sister is the legislative assistant for the House transpo committee for 2015 (they combined the finance and policy committees). I'm sure I'll hear some interesting stories.

ECtransplant
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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby ECtransplant » December 24th, 2014, 9:10 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:I'm not sure why simply raising the gas tax is such a hard concept.
Because they're Republicans. Raising any tax any amount for any thing is a non starter.

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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby David Greene » December 25th, 2014, 10:15 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
twincitizen wrote:It was buried in a locked F&C article about something completely unrelated, but the MN Transportation Alliance is calling for a 6.5% sales tax on gasoline. Republicans are already saying it's dead in the water, so there's that...
If focusing on revenues for roads via gasoline is the angle, I'm not sure why simply raising the gas tax is such a hard concept.
This isn't a fuel excise tax like we have now. This is a sales tax that works like every other sales tax we have -- it rises and falls with the price. This would be something new for the state

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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mulad » December 28th, 2014, 11:22 am

One problem is that 6.5% is way too low. The current state excise tax is 28.5 cents per gallon. At today's price of about 2.17/gal, you'd only bring in about 14 cents per gallon. We'd either have to set up a special percentage rate just for fuel (closer to 13%) or wait for gasoline to climb back above $4/gal and stay there for a while.

Fuel prices are just too volatile to really work with a sales tax, unfortunately

mattaudio
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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mattaudio » January 8th, 2015, 5:18 pm

The "official" MoveMN plan released today would include a $0.0075 metro sales tax for transit. Wasn't it originally discussed as a $0.01 sales tax?
Last edited by mattaudio on January 8th, 2015, 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby David Greene » January 8th, 2015, 9:54 pm

mattaudio wrote:The "official" MoveMN plan released today would include a $0.0075 metro sales tax for transit. Wasn't it originally discussed as a $0.01 sales tax?
It's one cent with the existing 1/4 cent.

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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby acs » January 8th, 2015, 11:35 pm

Regarding the MoveMN proposal which is essentially the one dayton wants, I actually think it may be one of the most devilishly pro-urban transportation proposals yet. Now I know its controversial among this group because it increases road funding. To be honest I am still conflicted whether or not to focus on making drivers pay the full cost of their system or to simply bond $200m in one time funds and starve the beast long-term, especially when a good chunk of the money would still go towards freeway expansion http://www.dot.state.mn.us/planning/mns ... t-list.pdf.

However when you look at how the roads are funded, long term its going to hurt drivers far more than imagined. Applying the state sales tax rate to gas not only removes one unfair subsidy/exemption for road users, it conveniently bypasses the state constitution. If they simply raised the gas tax, that money would only be allowed to go to roads now and forever. However these new sales tax proceeds, while they may be spent on roads now, could be diverted to other uses later down the line. Already, if you look at the last line of section I-2 in the link above, it provisions money for grade separation of rail crossings between St. Paul and LaCrosse in preparation for high speed rail. That could be just the beginning as the NLX and Zip rail plans move toward funding and there are no regional bodies like the CTIB to provide the local share across these large regions. If VMT per capita keeps declining and new transit and technologies take more cars off the road, then these dollars are likely to be used far more liberally to do things like balance a budget shortfall in place of stealing money away from transit.

In addition as the price of gas rises, which it inevitably will, the tax will have a greater and greater impact on drivers irrespective of the maintenance costs of the road system. If this doesn't sit well with you, then you're likely not alone even among us hard-core urbanists, but if your goal is to expand transit fourfold while punishing drivers at the pump and not with potholes, then this may be the plan for you.

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Nick
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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby Nick » January 8th, 2015, 11:43 pm

acs wrote:However when you look at how the roads are funded, long term its going to hurt drivers far more than imagined. Applying the state sales tax rate to gas not only removes one unfair subsidy/exemption for road users, it conveniently bypasses the state constitution. If they simply raised the gas tax, that money would only be allowed to go to roads now and forever. However these new sales tax proceeds, while they may be spent on roads now, could be diverted to other uses later down the line.
If that's a correct interpretation of the law, I almost want to delete this post before anyone notices.

acs
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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby acs » January 9th, 2015, 12:04 am

Nick wrote:
acs wrote:However when you look at how the roads are funded, long term its going to hurt drivers far more than imagined. Applying the state sales tax rate to gas not only removes one unfair subsidy/exemption for road users, it conveniently bypasses the state constitution. If they simply raised the gas tax, that money would only be allowed to go to roads now and forever. However these new sales tax proceeds, while they may be spent on roads now, could be diverted to other uses later down the line.
If that's a correct interpretation of the law, I almost want to delete this post before anyone notices.
Oh and if it ends up being just a straight application of the state sales tax to gas, then if that tax was ever raised generally then it would also affect drivers even more.

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Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mulad » January 9th, 2015, 8:36 am

Hmm. I guess I've been confused on whether the sales tax would be in addition to the current excise tax or if it would replace it -- my last post assumed that it would be replacing the existing tax. Would the sales tax be applied to the whole existing cost (fuel+federal excise tax+state excise tax), or only the fuel cost itself? (A tax on a tax doesn't seem to make much sense, though it happens.) At $2.00/gal (existing taxes included), that can affect the income of a sales tax by 24% [edited -- I misread a table before].


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