Governor Tim Walz continued his push for a gas tax increase today, visiting one of the most dangerous rail crossings in the state. Walz points to over 18-thousand vehicles and up to 80 trains per day using the Highway 47/Ferry Street crossing in Anoka, with major crashes dating back to 1972. He says, “If there was a way to do this without having a dependable stream of funding to fix these projects, it would have been done in 1972. It has not been done.”
Republican Senator Jim Abeler, who represents that area, says he appreciates the governor’s visit and concern — but solving the problem will not require increasing the gas tax, sales tax or tab fees. Walz fired back, “We’ll leave the podium up here and he can come and stand in front of people and tell ’em how he’s gonna get this done, because for 50 years they’ve not told you that.” Walz says everyone agrees that Minnesota’s roads and bridges must be fixed, but Republican senators don’t want to pay for it.