The Drive: Roads and transit: Pay now – or suffer later

  • Article by: Tim Harlow , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 8, 2013 - 5:54 PM

Over the past couple of construction seasons, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has rebuilt portions of Interstate 35 between Forest Lake and Duluth and repaved others.

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eljeljDec. 8, 13 6:05 PM

I am one who believes that funding transportation is a key function of government. That said, MnDOT has never shown that it is a good steward of the money it receives. It was just five years ago that we raised 5 new taxes for transportation. They have received hundreds of millions in federal stimulus, they have received more new money than any other part of government, yet they still come hat in hand asking for more, more, more. Legislators do you job and hold them accountable.

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careydDec. 8, 13 6:07 PM

If there are more people driving, they are buying more gas, licensing more vehicles and paying more taxes in aggregate. Shouldn't that alone provide the revenue increase?

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WaterBunkerDec. 8, 13 6:17 PM

Congested highways in the Twin Cities is not only a threat to continued prosperity, but also a major daily inconvenience to citizens. Does anyone remember the liberal cry in the 1980's that building more roads is not the answer and "we will force them out of their cars and into public transportation?". To quote Rev Wright, "the chickens have ...". Our neglect of the highways will not be easily resolved and unlikely to be fixed anytime soon.

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supervon2Dec. 8, 13 6:20 PM

Since fuel-efficient vehicles aren't paying their fair share shouldn't we have a special tax for them? Also, I don't have a problem with driving on Lake Street and I can't see a reason for a streetcar to nowhere on there.

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lowertowntugDec. 8, 13 6:22 PM

So now we spend much more money than it would have cost if we had not suffered through eight years Pawlewnty spent pretending to run the state while running for president.

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jw138Dec. 8, 13 6:28 PM

After giving our money away to an out of state billionaire for a new sports stadium he can well afford to pay for himself, we're told "we don't have the money to pay for our crumbling infrastructure so we need to tax you even more!" Our elected officials continue taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

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mnpikeyDec. 8, 13 6:52 PM

25% of the tax is diverted for mass transit and bicycle paths. Obvious solution to me is to up the charge for lightrail tickets to whatever it takes to make it budget neutral. And to tax bicycles via annual registration to pay for bike paths and maintenance of existing ones. If bicycles think they are entitled to use public roads then I

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scubadvrmnDec. 8, 13 7:14 PM

Now streetcars? Really? Just expensive buses so the unelected can create their version of paradise.

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marcymmbDec. 8, 13 7:16 PM

Supervon2---fuel efficient autos we're build to lessen our use on gasoline and because of so called global warming and now that people are doing this you think they should be taxed more because of it, you now sound like a politician.

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MorgDec. 8, 13 7:20 PM

jw138: That out of state billionaire is covering half the cost of the stadium that he will need a max of 12 days a year. The Dome has paid for itself many times over. The new one will too. The $400M+/- the state is putting into the stadium is peanuts and wouldn't make a dent in the transportation deficit, which needs a long-term solution.

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