Minnesota transportation spending: Will business support?

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 6, 2013 - 9:52 PM

Commissioner speaks the language, but higher taxes will be one of his tougher sales.

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really1979Jul. 6, 1310:42 PM

So it's up to the Democrats to solve Minnesota's transportation needs by having to "earn" the support of the business partnership and chamber of commerce. Just what is it Lori you think these two "stellar " organizations bring to the debate? Democrats already are supporting transportation investment. Will these "stellar" organizations endorse democrats in meaningful numbers or continue to spend millions of dollars to return the republicans to power like they have forever. Can they deliver meaningful numbers of republicans? Doubtful. So please quit putting this on Governor Dayton and the Democratic legislative majorities. The business lobby doesn't matter

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pumiceJul. 6, 1311:40 PM

Article XIV of Minnesota's constitution authorizes a trunk highway system overseen by the state and local roadway systems overseen by local political divisions. In addition, we taxpayers voted to add an amendment which dedicates all revenues from the state’s motor vehicle sales taxes--around $300 million per year since 2011-- toward improving roads and public transit. Everyone benefits; everyone contributes if more is needed. Why wouldn't the Chamber and the Business Partnership be on board?

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garagewineJul. 7, 13 1:14 AM

"Can they deliver meaningful numbers of republicans? Doubtful. So please quit putting this on Governor Dayton and the Democratic legislative majorities. The business lobby doesn't matter"---You have a short (or selective) memory. Dayton is the one who unilaterally shut down the proposed gas tax increase during the last session. It was reported in this paper.

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suburbsguyJul. 7, 13 6:42 AM

If someone came out and said that these new taxes would be spent on fixing roads and bridges, I bet most people would be for it.

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badcopperJul. 7, 13 7:42 AM

but a way to attract and retain employees, attract and retain businesses,------- this is a nonexistent problem

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pitythefoolsJul. 7, 13 8:25 AM

"The report said doing that right would take $50 billion to $55 billion — but Zelle says it would produce a return on that investment many times over."

If true, exactly where? Will property taxes be reduced by hundreds of billions? How about income taxes? When I prepare a business case, I need to show exactly where the return will come from in measurable ways. Reduced headcount? Reduced maintenance expenses? Increased margins? How will it be tied to the investment and measured? If I simply said "this investment will return many times over" I'd be thrown out on my ear. I want to know exactly where these returns will come from and how we're going to measure them.

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FrankLJul. 7, 1310:45 AM

If you ant more tax money then MNDOT is going to have to reform their methods. Too many projects are overbloated in costs for the benefit provided. Just look at the 35W and Lowry ave bridges. The most expensive option was chosen when lower cost options providing the same amount of capacity could have been built. Same thing is happening on I694, where a huge disruptive project is being done without adding capacity.

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checkfactsJul. 7, 1310:51 AM

Commissioner Zelle is exactly right and the new development of peer metro areas such as DFW, Denver, Salt Lake City are dramatic examples. The Minnesota Chamber and the Coalition of Minnesota Business share a brain and a very small number of high-income influencers. They do not represent the rank-and-file business community even though the first sentence of every letter makes that claim. When the greater business community starts to hold the Chamber accountable, thats when visionary business needs will get attention.

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elmore1Jul. 7, 1311:55 AM

Another way that businesses can support "world class" transportation is by continuing to leverage technology to let employees work virtually where appropriate. This reduces the traffic, fuel consumption and generally results in better and happier workers. Our transportation infrastructure is already overburdened.

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pumiceJul. 7, 1312:56 PM

Re: "Another way that businesses can support world class transportation is by continuing to leverage technology to let employees work virtually where appropriate." Yep. And if the businesses hire "private contractors" to do the "appropriate" work instead of hiring workers as benefited employees, think of all the money that goes to profit instead of to labor.

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