"A $6.6 billion transportation bill is on the verge of becoming law after the Minnesota House voted for the first time to override a veto from Governor Tim Pawlenty."
From PiPress the bill will:
" Raise the gas tax by 8 1/2 cents a gallon by 2014. The increases would be phased in, going up 2 cents next month, another half cent on Aug. 1 and 3 cents on Oct. 1. After that, it would go up half a cent a year for six years.
Some 3 1/2 cents of the gas tax increase would be dedicated to paying the debt service on $2 billion in road and bridge bonds. That part of the tax would expire when the bonds were paid off in 2047.
Increase the sales tax in the seven-county metro area by a quarter of a cent to pay for bus and rail transit. The measure would raise the sales tax 0.25 percent to 6.75 percent in suburban cities, 7.25 percent in St. Paul and 7.40 percent in Minneapolis. Advocates said it would double the number of buses in the metro area and ensure construction of the Central Corridor light-rail line between St. Paul and Minneapolis. The bill also adds a $20 sales tax to motor vehicles sold in the metro area.
Outstate counties could impose up to a half-cent sales tax for specific transportation projects if voters approve.
Boost license tab fees on newly purchased cars and trucks. If you keep your current vehicle, your fee would not go up. But if you buy a new car in Minnesota or a used car from another state, you would pay a fee of 1.25 percent of the purchase price. That would be $250 on a $20,000 car. The fee for that car would drop 10 percent a year.
The current maximum tab fee is $189 and drops to $99 the second year the owner has the vehicle. The minimum license tab fee would remain $35.
To offset the gas tax increase, the bill provides a $25 tax credit for low-income taxpayers. The credit would go to single people earning less than $22,390 a year and couples earning less than $32,720. They would not have to own a car to qualify for the credit.
The bill would launch a massive road and bridge construction program. It calls for borrowing $1 billion over the next two years, with $600 million earmarked for repairing or replacing the state's 13 most dangerous bridges. Starting in 2010, it authorizes borrowing $100 million a year for roads and bridges.
The bill also would add 40 troopers to the State Patrol."
... about time. Optimal? No. Satisficing? Yes.