Senate Republicans revealed a short-term transportation plan this week, shifting existing financial support from schools and seniors. The plan does not include any new revenue, despite bipartisan agreement that our transportation system needs more funding to ensure it is safe and efficient.
The Republican plan is silent on transit funding, does nothing to address the exiting transit operating deficit, and cuts operational funding for light rail transit. This bill will likely result in regular route bus service cuts and could kill any future light rail projects.
Provisions in the bill include:
- Shifting a portion of the auto parts and repairs tax revenue so the total amount of General Funds shifted is equivalent to $400 million this biennium and $500 million next biennium
- Removing $32 million in motor vehicle lease sales tax revenue from the General Fund and appropriating it to the Highway User Tax Distribution Fund (HUTDF)
- Cancelling light rail transit operating funds, potentially ending the Green Line Extension, Blue Line Extension, and any future light rail projects
This bill does not provide for a dedicated and sustainable transportation funding source, which means any shift can be shifted back during the next economic downturn. The Republican transportation plan is an irresponsible and inadequate proposal that pits parts of Minnesota against each other without meeting our infrastructure needs. (SF 1060)