Tax bump cut from transportation bill

The Senate Tax Committee voted Wednesday to strip out tax increases from the transportation finance bill.

The rejection and removal of the two provisions -- a seven-and-a-half cent per gallon gas tax for road and bridge upkeep, and a half-cent transit-dedicated metro sales tax -- surprised Senate Transportation committee chair Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, who had proposed the tax increases.

"This is basically a status quo lights-on bill that does nothing for transportation, meaning that it doesn't move the state forward at all in terms of the kinds of investments we need to make in transportation," Dibble said. "It's a real failure on the part of our state and so it's a very disappointing day."

Dibble said he will keep pushing to raise money for transportation.

"We live to fight another day," Dibble said. "We will have to just continue to persevere and try to bring back this idea in a future year."

The bill now moves to the Senate floor.

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