Providing Long-Term Transportation Funding

Providing Long-Term Transportation Funding

HF 4437 – House vote
Constitutional amendment to dedicate auto parts sales tax 
receipts to transportation purposes
CHAMBER SUPPORTED/BILL PASSED HOUSE; DID NOT PASS SENATE
YES is vote supporting Minnesota Chamber position

Minnesota businesses depend upon a safe, reliable and efficient transportation system to get their goods to market and their customers and employees to their doors. The 2017 Legislature passed the largest transportation funding bill in nearly a decade. Nearly $2 billion of transportation-related sales taxes will be captured and directed to the state’s transportation system over the next 10 years. This includes 100% of the revenues generated from the sales tax on rental cars and approximately 60% of revenues generated from the sales tax on auto parts.

Bentley Graves, director of transportation policy, talks with Representative John Petersburg, R-Waseca, about transporation funding.

The Minnesota Chamber has strongly advocated for investing these transportation-related general funds in transportation infrastructure and services. We support full dedication of the auto parts sales tax to transportation. This legislation would have given voters the opportunity to constitutionally dedicate all of these funds to transportation. Passage of this bill, and of the amendment this fall, would have ensured that 100% of these transportation-related sales taxes be used to help broaden the base of financial support for our transportation system – with a revenue stream that will grow over time, keeping pace with the ever-increasing cost of maintenance and construction.

Seventy-five percent of Minnesota business leaders who responded to a 2017 survey supported this constitutional approach. In polling conducted earlier this year, 76% of Minnesotans similarly supported constitutionally dedicating these funds to transportation. This bill received bipartisan support on the House floor. SF 3837 unfortunately did not receive a Senate vote. The bill failed to advance from the Senate Committee on Taxes when opposition from Minnesota’s public-sector unions stalled efforts to build bipartisan support.

We thank Senator Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, and Representative Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, for their support in carrying this legislation. While the amendment did not pass this session, receiving bipartisan support in one of the legislative bodies is progress. We continue to support the use of general fund dollars for transportation via statute or constitutional dedication.

Interested in other issues? Visit the Voting Record page.