ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton says his bid for a gas tax increase for road projects likely is “dead” given an ample state budget surplus.
The Democratic governor’s concession Thursday came as finance officials predicted a nearly $1.9 billion budget surplus, with some of that earmarked for rainy-day accounts. Dayton has pushed to hike the state’s fuel tax to provide a steady stream of money for road and bridge construction but that hasn’t gone far in the Legislature.
Dayton says it could be an issue ripe for voters in a referendum. He says he’s open to diverting some existing auto taxes to a transportation fund as long as it doesn’t pierce too big of a hole in the general treasury.
Transportation is expected to be a major focus in the 2016 session.
(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)