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Legislators consider concessions and compromises over transportation funding

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State legislators talked concessions and compromise on Friday over transportation funding, an issue left on the table last year.

The DFL offered to reduce their proposed gas tax from 16 cents per gallon to 12 cents per gallon. The gas tax would be phased in over three years.

Sen. Scott Dibble, a Democrat from Minneapolis, said his party was going to continue pushing for a gas tax.

“It’s never popular at the outset. It takes some courage,” Dibble said during a public meeting.

KSTP reported that in 2015, Iowa, Michigan and South Dakota, among other states, increased their gas tax to cover road and bridge construction.

The DFL proposal also included a metro-area sales tax and license tab fee increase.

The GOP offered to use sales tax revenue from the sale of auto parts and rental cars in lieu of a gas tax.

“A majority of the people are not in favor of a gas tax,” Republican Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing said. “We don’t believe that’s where we should be going.”

The House Republicans were edging closer to considering transit funding if the Metropolitan Council was reformed, MPR said.

Both the House and Senate plans would use some of the state budget surplus.

A counter offer is expected next week.

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