Backers of a gas tax increase are looking for ways to move forward after no success this legislative session and the next election over a year away. Minneapolis Democrat Frank Hornstein says support of the business community is key. “When we passed new revenue [a gas tax increase] last time in 2008, it was the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce that stepped up,” Hornstein says. “Unfortunately they have not stepped up.”
The Minnesota Chamber’s Bentley Graves says 2008 was different because the state had “made a lot of progress kind of reforming and right-sizing the business tax burden on businesses in Minnesota.” Graves says chamber members are generally indicating that a more favorable business tax climate is needed before they might support any gas tax increase. “That’s generally what we’ve heard from our members as we’ve had this conversation about increasing investment in infrastructure the last several years,” he says.