BY PRESIDENT REINERT:
The city council finds as follows:
(a) Minnesota’s transportation infrastructure forms the backbone of the state’s economy and has a direct impact on future economic development;
(b) Too many Minnesotans are being killed in traffic crashes on dangerous roadways;
(c) Funding for highway and transit systems in Minnesota has remained stagnant and is failing to keep pace with growing population and growing demands;
(d) Local governments throughout the state are struggling to maintain local transportation systems while the state’s gas tax has not been increased since 1988 and transit budgets have been cut in recent years;
(e) The Minnesota Legislature has repeatedly turned to revenue from the motor vehicle sales tax, which has been viewed as user fee revenue, in order to fund both highway and transit systems including the current dedication of 54 percent of motor vehicle sales tax for transportation purposes;
(f) The legislature passed a proposed constitutional amendment during the 2005 legislative session that would appear on the ballot November 7, 2006, asking voters if the remaining 46 percent of motor vehicle sales tax revenue currently used for other purposes should be used for highways and transit systems;
(g) Passage of this amendment would mean an increase in stable revenue for highway and transit systems throughout the state that would rise to approximately $300 million per year once the transfer of revenue is fully phased in by 2011.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the city of Duluth strongly supports passage of the proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution dedicating all of the motor vehicle sales tax revenue to transportation with at least 40 percent of the revenue for public transit assistance and not more than 60 percent of the revenue for highway purposes.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution establishes the city’s official position in favor of passage of the proposed constitutional amendment to require all of the revenue from the state motor vehicle sales tax to be spent on public transit assistance and highways. The amendment will be on the ballot for the election on November 7, 2006.