Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Special Session? Gas Tax Increase? Not so fast, buckaroo! (Bumped & Updated)

All the talk about special sessions and gas tax increase as sequelae to last week's I-35W bridge collapse may turn out to be just that--talk.

I just got off of the phone with Gary Gross, who incidentally just got off of the horn with State Representative Steve Gottwalt. Gross stated, when asked about the probability of a special session, Mr. Gottwalt replied, "God, I hope not!"

There appears to be a substantial number of Republican lawmakers who are seeing the call for raising the state gas tax to be what it is-- an opportunistic ploy by DFL lawmakers to ramrod a political agenda by exploiting a tragedy that had absolutely nothing to do with either the presence of or absence of a tax increase. While they certainly see the need to prioritize and ensure the safety of bridges and other infrastructure, they are likewise acknowledging that the answer lies not in an additional burden on Minnesota taxpayers, but rather on a good, old-fashioned prioritization of allocation of resources.

The bottom line is that neither a special session nor a tax increase is required to prevent what happened on the I-35 W bridge from happening elsewhere.

A phone call or email ( to Governor Pawlenty's office will go a long way toward ensuring that the solution to the bridge and infrastructure issue is a prudent, effective measure, rather than a knee-jerk tax-and-spend reaction.


David Strom adds:

We are collecting ammo to fight this. Lists of pork projects. Rybak is calling for more rail in response to this. Attacks on Pawlenty.

I see a backlash coming, a la Wellstone Memorial.


My sentiments exactly, David!


Gary Gross, Andy Aplikowski, Gary Miller, and MDE report that a whopping 57 percent of Minnesotans are opposed to a gas tax increase.

Not only that, but Andy has correctly pointed out that allowing for a gas tax increase would be a de-facto, yet ill-attributed admission that the gas-tax veto was actually the cause for the bridge collapse.

Don't do it, Governor!