Walz calls for gas tax increase, opens door to other hikes

Published 10:31 pm Thursday, July 26, 2018

ST. PAUL — Rep. Tim Walz said he’d push to raise the state’s gasoline tax if elected governor to pay for infrastructure improvements.

The Democratic congressman included that measure as part of a broader policy package he released with mayors and leaders from across Minnesota on Thursday. Walz called Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s failed push for a hike of 10 cents per gallon “a starting point.”

Increasing the gasoline tax has been a lightning rod at the Capitol. Republican majorities have blocked it in favor of repurposing existing funding and putting budget surplus dollars toward infrastructure repairs.

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Walz said he couldn’t rule out other tax increases to pay for priorities like broadband internet grants and local government aid increases. He said policymakers should start by addressing needs and then discuss how to pay.