Editorial: Vote for gas tax was good move

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, May 28, 2008

There has been a lot of debate on this opinion page about House District 27A Rep. Robin Brown&8217;s vote for the transportation bill that passed during this year&8217;s legislative session.

And debate is good. It is healthy for society and for democracy.

But Brown was indeeed right in her support for the gas tax. It wasn&8217;t a Republican vs. Democrat issue so much as a Legislature vs. Gov. Tim Pawlenty issue. However, he does lead the Republican Party in Minnesota, and now many supporters of the gas tax are being chastised, in spite of the fact that many Republicans in this session and previous sessions have favored it.

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Let&8217;s get one thing straight: Taxes are not responsible for the spike in gasoline prices. In fact, if you repealed the taxes, you wouldn&8217;t get an extra low price. Instead, you&8217;d find the price nearly the same because that is about what the market will bear right now.

Furthermore, the 8.5 cents per gallon that will be added to the price of gas by 2013 is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount consumers are sending to the profits of Big Oil. Chump change to fix Minnesota&8217;s roads is not asking all that much.

Brown fulfilled her campaign pledge to help Minnesota&8217;s highways. Anyone complaining about how she voted indeed has the free-speech right to speak up, but they definitely can&8217;t say they didn&8217;t see this coming. She lives in the country, and she knew all along the roads in southern Minnesota need serious fixing. Her support of the transportation bill, with its gas tax, will benefit District 27A.