2015-16 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Elections - City Councils and Commissions - Policies
David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4761
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby David Greene » January 9th, 2015, 11:41 am

I don't think there's ever been an idea of replacing the excise tax. It's all in addition.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
Posts: 2702
Joined: September 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby RailBaronYarr » January 9th, 2015, 2:50 pm

I dunno about it being able to be used on any projects. Their press release says:
One difference between a retail sales tax and the proposed sales tax on fuel is that the sales tax on fuel is calculated into a cent-per-gallon tax and adjusted annually to reflect the changing price of fuel. When applied at the gas pump, the state’s gas tax would increase by approximately 14 cents per gallon. This revenue is constitutionally dedicated and can only be spent on roads and bridges.
Seems like a weird way to apply it. 1) why not treat it like any other sales tax that's just added at the end instead of converting it to a per-gallon basis? 2) fuel prices are volatile. If they had set the rate at the beginning of 2014 it would be way higher per gallon now than it's supposed to. 3) That's a LOT of ca$he adding in for roads/bridges only.

http://www.movemn.org/news-release-move ... tion-needs

twincitizen
Moderator
Posts: 6258
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 7:27 pm
Location: Standish-Ericsson

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby twincitizen » January 13th, 2015, 8:00 am

Senate DFL releases transportation plan: http://finance-commerce.com/2015/01/sen ... ding-plan/

nate
Landmark Center
Posts: 296
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 2:01 pm

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby nate » January 13th, 2015, 12:24 pm

And a good primer on the DFL vs Republican transportation plans:
http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy ... ding-plans

A high-level overview:
DFL Plan: Additional taxes as a way to get in front of a shortfall in funding that we can all see coming.
Repub Plan: Unspecified inefficiencies will specified at a later date. (KICKS CAN)

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7932
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mattaudio » January 13th, 2015, 12:31 pm

nate wrote:a shortfall in funding that we can all see coming
Tell me more? Shortfall, yes. Funding shortfall? Maybe not. Unless we keep building more and more roads that eventually need to be maintained/replaced. We can change course in ways other than paying for more of the same.

To sum up, DFL and GOP both appear to have awful plans. But DFL appears to be less awful since it's only 99% roads instead of 100% roads.

phop
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 170
Joined: May 28th, 2013, 8:58 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby phop » January 13th, 2015, 1:08 pm

mattaudio wrote:
nate wrote:a shortfall in funding that we can all see coming
Tell me more? Shortfall, yes. Funding shortfall? Maybe not. Unless we keep building more and more roads that eventually need to be maintained/replaced. We can change course in ways other than paying for more of the same.

To sum up, DFL and GOP both appear to have awful plans. But DFL appears to be less awful since it's only 99% roads instead of 100% roads.
$251M/yr for transit (according to the MinnPost article) is much, much greater than 1% of the DFL dedicated funding proposal.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7932
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mattaudio » January 13th, 2015, 1:23 pm

But the question remains... is it worth getting $250m/yr for transit if roads are getting $1,000m/yr? I'm skeptical... that level of road funding would ensure sprawl subsidies into oblivion, negating any natural value for transit besides user preference.

In other words, if we truly want transit to succeed, we need to worry less about how to pay for it and more about how to stop subsidizing automobility and transit-hostile land uses. The valuable transit investments will rise to the top if they are truly the best option and we starve the beast. And the results would likely be better anyways... things like more aBRT and more small expansions of our LRT network in the core.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4761
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby David Greene » January 13th, 2015, 1:31 pm

mattaudio wrote:But the question remains... is it worth getting $250m/yr for transit if roads are getting $1,000m/yr?
Unless you want $0 for transit, yes. That road funding is politically necessary. And in fact it is necessary to maintain our infrastructure. That's going to cost more even if we eliminated some roads, which isn't going to happen.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7932
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mattaudio » January 13th, 2015, 1:33 pm

But if we starve the beast, it may actually be much better for transit in the long run. This may actually be a viable approach for the DFL if the GOP continues to be road-only. Don't pass a bill that raises revenues for roads, even under some hypothetical fix-it-first language that we know won't get anywhere with the road lobby.

And how do we know roads won't be eliminated? The easiest way to eliminate useless road infrastructure is to defund its maintenance/replacement. That's taking a page from the GOP playbook.

David Greene
IDS Center
Posts: 4761
Joined: December 4th, 2012, 11:41 am

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby David Greene » January 13th, 2015, 1:37 pm

There is no starving the beast. If new funding doesn't pass a lights-on bill will, maintaining the status quo while letting our infrastructure deteriorate even more, requiring even more money later.

In no scenario is road funding dropped to zero. Nor should it be.

xandrex
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1367
Joined: January 30th, 2013, 11:14 am

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby xandrex » January 13th, 2015, 1:46 pm

mattaudio wrote:But if we starve the beast, it may actually be much better for transit in the long run. This may actually be a viable approach for the DFL if the GOP continues to be road-only. Don't pass a bill that raises revenues for roads, even under some hypothetical fix-it-first language that we know won't get anywhere with the road lobby.

And how do we know roads won't be eliminated? The easiest way to eliminate useless road infrastructure is to defund its maintenance/replacement. That's taking a page from the GOP playbook.
The DFL already lost the House is part because the GOP could say to Greater Minnesota residents, "Look at the DFL - they don't care about the roads you rely on and they're holding out to get choo-choo money."

Strangle the money and suddenly you have suburban roads crumbling or maybe a bridge collapse in the state and the GOP can say to the suburban Twin Cities voter, "The DFL isn't interested in your safety on the roads or letting you get to work on time. We need to invest in infrastructure."

And that's about the time the DFL loses both chambers and the gov's position and we have a Scott Walker-type situation on our hands.

User avatar
FISHMANPET
IDS Center
Posts: 4579
Joined: June 6th, 2012, 2:19 pm
Location: Corcoran

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby FISHMANPET » January 13th, 2015, 1:47 pm

It's enough to make you want to move to a deserted island, because clearly we're screwed no matter what we do.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7932
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mattaudio » January 13th, 2015, 1:49 pm

But the reality is that, no matter how many gimmicks or "administrative efficiencies" or whatever else they find, the #dothemath is going to catch up to us.

You may think that they can keep pandering to rural and suburban voters on roads and bridges. And that sounds nice. But the numbers do not add up. The money just isn't there. And contractors and materials don't show up at a jobsite for free, as Pawlenty learned.

acs
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1381
Joined: March 26th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby acs » January 13th, 2015, 1:52 pm

I've been going back and forth with this myself. Is it a good idea to give a relatively small one-time subsidy of $200m to roads so as to "starve the beast" and maintain the rhetoric that roads are just as subsidized as transit? Or do we try and make drivers pay the full cost of driving now and discourage driving by hitting their wallets (ala Europe)?

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7932
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mattaudio » January 13th, 2015, 1:56 pm

Is that an either-or? Part of starving the beast is showing that road users don't pay their way. The only rational responses are to increase revenues so as to reduce the subsidy for what we already have (raise gas tax likely) and lower our long term liabilities by reducing our infrastructure footprint over time. We'd likely need some of both. And building more roads and bridges is not a rational response regardless of revenue.

The only downside I see is the collateral damage to other programs and services within the state. We already know that roads are over 50% subsidized by the general fund. But stealing even more from the general fund, which is basically what is being proposed this year and which would accelerate in all circumstances short of one or both rational responses above, would definitely hurt.

MNdible
is great.
Posts: 5831
Joined: June 8th, 2012, 8:14 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby MNdible » January 13th, 2015, 1:57 pm

It doesn't matter what radical proposal to TEACH 'EM you all propose, because there's just no way you could scrape together the votes to get such a thing passed. Maybe it's time to pull up Nick's map again and see just how many seats in the legislature represent the urban districts.

acs
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1381
Joined: March 26th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby acs » January 13th, 2015, 1:58 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:It's enough to make you want to move to a deserted island, because clearly we're screwed no matter what we do.
Amen. On top of it, mass transit has a proverbial gun to its head, and it's not because of the GOP. Driverless cars will be here by 2020 and the burden is on transit to re-invest and re-invent itself to stay viable and capture mode share, especially as the millenial generation comes of age and makes key life decisions.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7932
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mattaudio » January 13th, 2015, 1:59 pm

Driverless cars solve a few, but far from all, of the problems associated with our car-dominant transportation regime. They will change how the game is played, but they won't change the game we're playing.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7932
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby mattaudio » January 13th, 2015, 1:59 pm

MNdible wrote:It doesn't matter what radical proposal to TEACH 'EM you all propose, because there's just no way you could scrape together the votes to get such a thing passed. Maybe it's time to pull up Nick's map again and see just how many seats in the legislature represent the urban districts.
But that's the brilliance from stealing a page from the GOP playbook. This is the outcome from doing nothing. It doesn't need to pass.

ECtransplant
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 745
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:56 am

Re: 2015 MN Legislative Session & Budget

Postby ECtransplant » January 13th, 2015, 2:00 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:It's enough to make you want to move to a deserted island, because clearly we're screwed no matter what we do.
Or wish that cities could secede from their states. Imagine how better off most large cities/metros would be if they were their own states.
Last edited by ECtransplant on January 13th, 2015, 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Return to “Local Politics and Governance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest