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Budget surplus boomlet


Mon, Mar 9th, 2015
Posted in All State of Minnesota



Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans had some good news to announce in late February, reporting that the 2016-2017 budget surplus estimate had swelled to $1.87 billion. Just last December the estimated surplus was $1 billion.

The announcement of very good news exposed more partisan divisions. House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) insisted that the substantial increase in the budget surplus means that “Democrats can stop talking about a gas tax.” Republicans want to give a portion of the surplus back to taxpayers. Daudt insisted the surplus is evidence that tax rates should be lowered. Republicans also want to put a portion of the surplus toward transportation projects, opposing Governor Mark Dayton’s proposal to raise revenue designated specifically for a ten year transportation plan for 607 road and bridge projects statewide.

Dayton maintained some of the surplus should be set aside for debt costs. He wants to use $850 million for public works construction.

There is some agreement. Both sides want to spend a portion of the surplus on education and nursing homes.

Transportation

Dayton wants to raise the tax on wholesale gas which would raise the price per gallon at the pump a dime or more depending on the price of gas. Other new revenue would come from an increase in license tab fees and an issuance of trunk highway bonds. He insists a “dedicated revenue stream” is necessary to assure funding for transportation improvements.

Detail has been released recently from MnDot of estimated costs for Dayton’s list of road and bridge projects. His 10 year road and bridge plan calls for $6 billion to be raised over 10 years to fund 607 road and bridge projects (total projected costs range from $4.1 to $7.8 billion)

Dayton’s plan is presented as future orientated creating a transportation system for expected population increases and economic growth. Minn. has 20,000 bridges and almost 150,000 miles of road. MnDot reports that over half of state roads are over 50 years old.

To compound the problem of financing the maintenance and improvement of the system is the fact that less federal dollars are coming in for transportation and revenue from Minnesota’s current 28.6 cent per gallon gas tax has been dwindling thanks to more efficient vehicles.

Republicans are looking at a much smaller, shorter term plan, .....
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Minnesota traffic deaths continue downward trend in 2014 Projected final number would be second lowest since World War II

Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015
Posted in All State of Minnesota

ST. PAUL, MN – Last year marked continued progress in improving traffic safety on Minnesota roads as preliminary data reveal traffic deaths falling to a near record low. According to the latest preliminary numbers from the Minnesota Department of ..... 
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Minnesota banks honored for community involvement

Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015
Posted in All State of Minnesota

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN – The Minnesota Bankers Association (MBA) recently recognized First Southeast Bank for their community involvement. Banks play an important and vital role in their communities, and to honor and recognize their involvement, the MBA ..... 
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Not all property taxes stay local

Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015
Posted in All State of Minnesota

Most property owners in Minn. when they review their property tax statement will see breakdowns of their property taxes that include county, township, school district, or city. However, owners of commercial/industrial and seasonal recreational prope ..... 
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Additional Energy Assistance funds available to help Minnesotans stay warm this winter

Mon, Feb 23rd, 2015
Posted in All State of Minnesota

ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced today that Minnesota will receive an additional $9,958,577 in federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program. The total amo ..... 
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Attend Extension’s Forages For “U”

Mon, Feb 16th, 2015
Posted in All State of Minnesota

To address key forage production and management issues in Minnesota, a series of Forage Workshops will be held in February of 2015. Individual sites include Fergus Falls on February 10 at the Government Service Building-Commissioner Room, Hutchinso ..... 
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GasBuddy update 2.16.15

Mon, Feb 16th, 2015
Posted in All State of Minnesota

FEBRUARY 9- Average retail gasoline prices in Minn. have risen 17.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.16/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 2,856 gas outlets in Minn. This compares with the national average that has ..... 
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Divided government returns to Minnesota

Mon, Jan 26th, 2015
Posted in All State of Minnesota

On January 6 the new Minnesota legislative session convened with a Republican majority in the House while the DFL retains control of the Senate. In the next several months the two sides will have to work together to pass a two year budget, a transpo ..... 
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GasBuddy update 1.19.15

Mon, Jan 19th, 2015
Posted in All State of Minnesota

JANUARY 12, 2015- Average retail gasoline prices in Minnesota have fallen 6.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $1.93/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 2,856 gas outlets in Minnesota. This compares with the national a ..... 
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