ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House of Representatives has approved a transportation funding package that would raise taxes and fees on Minnesotans by roughly $3.5 billion. State Representative Marj Fogelman (R-Fulda) voted against the plan.
“After the Democrats decided to include inflation in our budget forecast, we still had a windfall of more than $17 billion,” Fogelman said. “With that kind of money laying around, I cannot understand why there is any need to increase the cost of registration tabs, driver’s license applications, renewal fees and much more.”
Fogelman said the biggest financial hit will be directed towards those who live and shop in the Metro Area, as a ¾ of a cent sales tax increase is expected to raise more than $2 billion.
Speaking of shopping, Fogelman said if you enjoy having items delivered to your home, you will soon pay more for the privilege. The transportation proposal includes a 75-cent delivery tax that will be implemented every time someone drops off your order at your front door.
“This is yet another burden our citizens don’t need,” Fogelman said. “It’s regressive and has a negative impact on businesses. If you are ordering a $9 meal or a $3000 couch, the fee is the same. If you order taxable and untaxable items together, you still will be charged the fee. This will hurt our low income, disabled, and elderly residents.”
Additional Democrat tax increases include raising the costs of license tab renewals, which will cost Minnesota drivers $736 million, and an increase in the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax (MVST), which would jump from 6.5% to 6.875%, and cost residents more than $215 million.
Fogelman said there are also questionable spending priorities in the proposal, such as $194 million to fund a high-speed train to Duluth, and enough money to fund 172 brand new, full-time employees for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
“There are so many things wrong with this bill that it’s just easiest to say that it is wrong for Minnesota,” Fogelman said.
The transportation tax increase plan will now be sent to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.