Skip to main content

Dayton and Bakk feud put to bed as pair unite to promote $6B gas tax plan


There's nothing like a controversial gas tax to mend fences between feuding politicians.

Governor Mark Dayton appeared with Senate Majority Leader and fellow DFLer Tom Bakk for the first time since their very public falling out over Dayton's decision to increase commissioner salaries by up to $35,000.

The reason for this reconciliation? The pair were showing solidarity as Minnesota's Democrats push ahead with a plan for a wholesale tax on gas that will partly fund a proposed $6 billion highways improvement program over the next decade.

The 6.5 percent tax is firmly opposed by Republicans, but at the joint press conference Thursday, Dayton challenged them to come up with an alternative.

"I would urge House Republicans to come forward with a real proposal," he said, according to the Star Tribune, which reported he also accused Republicans of "sticking their head in the sand."

"We cannot ignore this problem any longer," he added, according to KARE 11. "It is time to face the very serious consequences of doing nothing – or next to nothing – this session."

WCCO reports that House Speaker Kurt Daudt issued a statement after the press conference assuring that state Republicans will be coming forward with an alternative.

"In the coming weeks, Republicans will unveil our comprehensive plan that invests in Minnesota roads and bridges without raising taxes and taking more money from families," he said.

"Legislative Democrats and Governor Dayton should acknowledge that most Minnesotans are not supportive of their plan, and that their gas tax increase is regressive and harmful to low and middle-income families," he added.

Daudt has previously said that the $1.9 billion surplus that the state reported at the end of last month shows that a gas tax is unneccessary.

Next Up

Gopher Football

Watch: Gophers troll Badgers with 'Jump Around' after Saturday's win

First they took Paul Bunyan's Axe. Then they took their tradition.

Brandon Richart, missing person

Search underway for missing man in Anoka area

Brandon Richart was last seen Nov. 17.

U.S. Bank Stadium

5 teams win first state championships at Prep Bowl

A pair of records fell as the Prep Bowl lived up to the hype.

ashley Carlson

Remains of missing WI mom found in Pine County, MN

Ashley Miller-Carlson was 33 years old.

D'Angelo Russell

D'Lo's late takeover helps Timberwolves win double-OT thriller

Russell caught fire to help the Timberwolves get back to .500.

Gopher Football

Gophers suffocate Badgers, reclaim Paul Bunyan's Axe

Minnesota picked up its first home win over the Badgers since 2003.

Meeker County Sheriff's Office

Boy, 6, run over after falling off trailer in Meeker Co. tree farm accident

He was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center with internal injuries.

Target store

Target unveils deals for 2-day 'Cyber Monday' event

The promotion kicks off Sunday, November 28.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.59.30 AM

Edina police warn of recent burglary trend targeting garages and vehicles

The Edina Police Department is increasing patrols in affected neighborhoods in response to the trend.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.03.06 AM

Charges: Man shot Uber Eats driver making a delivery in Cottage Grove

Otis Donnell Shipp was charged with second-degree attempted murder after turning himself in on Wednesday.