A new poll released last week by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce found overwhelming opposition to an increase in the state’s gas tax.
The poll, conducted in conjunction with the Minnesota Business Partnership, discovered that nearly two-thirds of voters statewide oppose Gov. Tim Walz’s proposed 20-cent gas tax hike. The results of the poll show that 65 percent of respondents oppose the increase, while 54 percent are “strongly” opposed.
Those numbers are even higher for Greater Minnesota respondents. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed in Greater Minnesota oppose a 20-cent increase, and 63 percent said they were strongly opposed. That’s compared to 57 percent of Twin Cities respondents who said they were opposed, while 40 percent in the metro area support the increase.
As an alternative, 64 percent of Minnesotans said they are in favor of dedicating the auto parts sales tax to the transportation budget.
Minnesota’s gas tax is currently the 24th highest in the country, and was last raised in 2008. A poll from The Star Tribune in October found that 56 percent of Minnesotans actually support a gas tax increase. That poll, however, asked about a 10-cent increase, as opposed to the 20-cent increase mentioned by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
In regards to Walz’s proposed business tax increases, 60 percent overall said they oppose the idea, 47 percent of whom are strongly opposed.
“These results reflect that Minnesotans want our state to be affordable for families and businesses to grow and flourish,” said Doug Loon, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. “High tax rates negatively impact investment, wages, entrepreneurship, and talent retention and recruitment—the very items needed for a strong and growing economy.”
Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, said that “Minnesota employers support smart investments that preserve Minnesota’s quality of life.”
“However, the sheer magnitude of these proposed tax increases and mandates would discourage companies from creating jobs and investing in Minnesota,” he added.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Tom Walz” by Jonathunder GFDL1.2