Moving Minnesota's Public Debate Forward

Transportation

A robust transportation infrastructure moves Minnesota forward.

Transportation Benefits: Agreement, but Weak Action

In my first major project as a Minnesota 2020 fellow, I highlighted the economic benefits for Minnesota of investing in transportation. This was a direct rebuttal to the contention of then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty that hiking state fuel taxes for the first time in two decades to support highway construction and maintenance and raising new revenue for transit improvements would "hurt our economy." That canard was nothing more than cover for Pawlenty's lockstep adherence to the right-wing dogma of no new taxes no matter what, which had already prompted him to…

Complexity Dogs Mileage Fee Concept

It seemed like such a simple, smart idea at first. With fuel taxes paralyzed over decades of inflation, cars going farther on each gallon of gasoline (or none at all) and roads and bridges still deteriorating under traffic's wear and tear, why not switch user funding for this vital infrastructure from a levy at the pump to one based on miles driven? Proponents argued that it would be fair, adaptable to future automotive technologies and able to support other policy objectives such as reducing congestion, pollution and accidents. Pilot testing…