Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Polling Paul's support 

The StarTribune is trumpeting a new poll run by the Minnesota House at the State Fair that says 58% of voters support a dime increase in the gas tax. The question is worded:
Would you be willing to pay an extra 10 cents per gallon for gas if all the money goes toward state road and bridge improvements?
Well, 97% of it goes to the Highway Users Tax Distribution Fund, which distributes the money between the Trunk Highway Fund (62%) and county and municipal street aid funds. A majority of the THF funds go to construction; maintenance only gets about 15 cents of each dollar spent. (THF also relies MVST and license/tab revenues. See this.) About 8% of state and federal dollars go to transit, most of that Metro, which receives 20.5% of MVST revenues since 2001.

One can expect some of those places, plus road research, administration, and various reserve funds, to lead to less than a dime of the gas tax getting to roads.

Of course, a good majority of people voting at the Fair live in the Cities. They get the transit money, and even a disproportionate share of county state aid money relative to the share of metro roads designated as CSAH roads. Likewise, 69% of municipal dollars go to metro cities.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." -- George Bernard Shaw

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