warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

GOP’s plan prioritizes roads, bridges

Recently, Republicans released the Road and Bridge Act of 2015, a transportation plan that will invest in our roads and bridges and make sure we’re maintaining and improving the quality of our transportation infrastructure for the next 10 years.
Our plan stands in stark contrast to the plan put forward by Gov. Dayton and the Senate DFL, which proposes a minimum 16-cents per gallon gas tax increase that will grow even larger if gas once again goes above $2.50 per gallon.
Some of the only people I hear pushing for a higher gas tax are politicians in St. Paul, and interest groups who are spending thousands trying to convince legislators that a gas tax is the only answer to our long-term transportation needs.
Spend a couple of hours in a local diner in any given town in Minnesota, and you’re not likely to find many people who support increasing the gas tax. In fact, most people I’ve heard from are relieved that gas prices are finally more affordable, and wonder why politicians in St. Paul want to increase the gas tax when families are finally seeing lower prices at the pump and more money in their pockets.
Even worse, the gas tax is a fundamentally regressive tax that hurts low-income Minnesotans and seniors living on fixed incomes. A higher gas tax would also increase the price of goods and services, meaning you won’t just be paying higher prices at the pump.
Republicans stand with the silent majority of Minnesotans who want us to prioritize roads and bridges, and not take money out of their family budgets. The Road and Bridge Act of 2015 will invest more than $7 billion in roads and bridges over 10 years, helping to repair or replace more than 15,500 lane miles of roads and 330 bridges statewide.
The plan also provides funding for townships, as well as small cities with fewer than 5,000 residents, giving badly needed funding to finally repair local roads, many of which haven’t been repaired or replaced in many years. Many cities and townships in our community would benefit directly as a result of this plan.
Instead of raising the gas tax, our plan prioritizes roads and bridges using existing funding. In addition to using a small portion of the state’s $1.869 billion surplus, our plan dedicates revenue from taxes on vehicle rentals and leases as well as auto parts to help fund the $7 billion in increased funding.
We think this is an approach that most Minnesotans will support, and is the best way to address our long-term needs without taking more money from hardworking Minnesotans.
Minnesotans pay enough in taxes already. Your tax dollars fund a state budget that is nearly $40 billion dollars. Roads and bridges are one of the core functions of state government. It’s time for the governor and my colleagues in the DFL to listen to Minnesotans and realize that we need to prioritize existing funding instead of asking families to pay more.
If you agree with our approach, I hope you’ll contact the governor and DFL Legislators and urge them to support our plan.