The Minnesota House has approved a constitutional amendment to dedicate some sales tax revenue to transportation repairs. But voters shouldn’t expect to see it on the ballot this fall.

The constitutional amendment faces stiff odds even after the House passed it on a 76-54 vote. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has said it likely won’t get a vote in the narrowly divided Senate due to a lack of Democratic support.

If passed, the GOP-backed amendment would dedicate revenues from auto parts, repairs and rentals to a state transportation fund. Democrats have objected, saying it would take money from the general fund without raising new money.

Minnesota House Transportation Finance Chairman Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) sponsored the bill and says there is no doubt that there needs to be more funding for transportation.

“Especially roads and bridges. This will dedicate dollars that citizens are already paying in taxes and dedicate them to transportation. This will benefit the entire state. These dollars reach out all across the state from small cities to the metro. It benefits a lot of workers too. Ya know, the folks that build our roads and maintain them will benefit from this also.”

Gov. Mark Dayton has objected too but he doesn’t have a say. Constitutional amendments passed by the Legislature don’t need a governor’s signature.

 

Additional information provided by Brandon Lewis, KTOE News.