Thursday, May 19, 2005

Pawlenty Plans To Veto Gas Tax Hike

Senators dared Gov. Tim Pawlenty to make good on his no-new-tax pledge by approving a road-funding bill Wednesday with a dime-a-gallon gas tax increase. The bill -- passed 36-31 -- was previously adopted by the House and now goes to Pawlenty. It's the first time since he took office in 2003 that a bill raising a state tax has hit his desk. The Republican governor said he'll veto it. If it were to become law, the bill would infuse $7.3 billion into road construction and mass transit operation over the next decade through a combination of revenue sources that includes the gas tax. If it's shot down, it would leave legislators little time to come up with an alternative before they adjourn May 23. "I've told them for months that I'll veto a bill if it directly has a gas tax increase in it," Pawlenty said of lawmakers. "If they're going to send it up to me, send it up to me and let me veto it so we can get back to work on a bill that will pass, and we'll take it from there," Pawlenty said.
Minnesota State Capitol