By Pat Kessler

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — It would be the biggest gas tax hike in the state’s highway history, but DFL Gov. Tim Walz says his plan’s not out of line with what’s happening in other states.

It’s a jaw-dropping 70-percent gas tax hike from 28.5 cents a gallon to 48.5 cents.

The money is for fixing some of the state’s worst highways — and potholes.

Walz defends the hike as not unusual.

“I remind folks this is not a unique situation to Minnesota,” Walz said at a suburban Twin Cities transportation event. “Twenty six states in the last five years have raised their gas taxes. A dozen more are doing it now.”

The bump at the pump would be the highest in state history.

Minnesota’s gas tax currently ranks 25th in the nation. Raising it 20 cents would move Minnesota to No. 5.

Nevertheless, Walz is correct. Many states, led by both Democrats and Republicans, are turning to the gas tax again — including Minnesota’s Midwest neighbors.

Along with Minnesota’s 20 cents, Wisconsin’s proposing a 9-cent gas tax hike. Illinois is proposing 19 cents, Ohio is proposing 18 cents and Michigan is proposing an eye-popping 45 cents a gallon.

It’s all happening now because so many states waited so long. The buying power of the gas tax got eaten away by inflation, construction costs going up and fuel-efficient cars buying less fuel. Aging roads and bridges now have less money to fix them.

The gas tax hike would be phased in over two years. It would cost about $3 dollars more every time you fill up your tank. And like other states, the Minnesota plan includes a tax credit for low income drivers to ease some of the pain at the pump.

That’s Reality Check.

Sources We Used For This Reality Check:

MN Gas Tax Hikes Since 1975

Click to access historychart.pdf

Twin Cities Gas Prices
https://www.gasbuddy.com/Charts

Five Southern States Consider Fuel Taxes
http://www.landlinemag.com/story.aspx?storyid=73649#.XJuFddh7m70

US Gas Tax Increases Become Mainstream
https://onlinebusiness.northeastern.edu/blog/u-s-gas-tax-increases-become-mainstream/

Midwestern Governors Float Gas Tax Hikes
https://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-gas-tax-minnesota-ohio-governor-funding-roads.html

States Raising Gas Taxes In Recent Years
https://itep.org/most-states-have-raised-gas-taxes-in-recent-years/

IL Gas Tax
https://www.sj-r.com/news/20190324/senate-bill-would-raise-state-gas-tax-by-19-cents-per-gallon-to-fund-road-and-bridge-repairs

Governing.com: States Raising Gas Tax
https://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/gov-gas-tax-minnesota-ohio-governor-funding-roads.html

Institute in Taxation and Economic Policy
https://itep.org/overdue-gas-tax-hikes-are-back-on-the-agenda-in-statehouses/

Tax Foundation: How High Are Gas Taxes In Your State?
https://files.taxfoundation.org/20180808093450/Gas-Tax-July-2018.png

How Long Since Your State Raised The Gas Tax?
https://itep.org/how-long-has-it-been-since-your-state-raised-its-gas-tax-0219/

American Petroleum Institute: Gas Tax Rankings By State

Click to access StateMotorFuel-OnePagers-January-2019.pdf

Pat Kessler

Comments (2)
  1. Tim Neumann says:

    So any tax credit is income limited once again emptying the pockets of those paying the most taxes and rewarding those paying the least. No mention about the increase “fees” for all other DMV services. Time to get out of this state.

  2. Kevin Ol says:

    I wouldn’t put this clown in charge of a lemonade stand, he’d go bankrupt. After seeing the audit report about how inefficient MNDOT is being operated I want this idiot to show how the 900+ million dollars they get now from all the taxes and Federal highway fund is being allocated and spent. It’s time to clean out MNDOT and get someone in there that can set priorities and spend our tax money responsibly.