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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Minnesota House Democrats have quietly revived a push to raise the state's gas taxes.

What's happening: A transportation budget bill released this week proposes increasing the tax by a projected 5 cents over the next four years, based on inflation.

  • Additional revenue for roads and transit would come from higher motor vehicle taxes and a 0.5% transit sales tax in the metro.

Reality check: The hike is almost certainly DOA in the GOP-controlled Senate, where leaders have taken a no new taxes stance. DFL Gov. Tim Walz pushed — then dropped — a proposed 20-cent increase of his own back in 2019.

What they're saying: DFL leaders didn't mention the idea when they rolled out their budget and tax plan Monday or hold hearings on the idea in the first half of session.

  • But House Speaker Melissa Hortman told Torey that the proposal, offered by her transportation committee chair, reflects an "ongoing need" to invest more heavily in infrastructure without diverting general fund dollars from schools and other programs.
  • She argued that the gas tax hasn't kept up with rising costs of road upkeep.

The bottom line: Even if it doesn't pass, expect to see the issue drive legislative debates and, eventually, campaign attacks.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

Back from break, Minnesota Legislature gears up for budget fight

Photo: Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Minnesota Legislature returns from a holiday break today, setting off a six-week sprint to reach deals on a laundry list of issues.

The state of play: The biggest and most important item on the divided Legislature's to-do list is passing a two-year state budget.

Treasury details Biden's plan to raise $2 trillion through corporate tax hikes

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Treasury Department released details on Wednesday of President Biden's plan to hike corporate taxes over the next 15 years to raise about $2 trillion for his sweeping jobs and infrastructure proposal.

Why it matters: The plan will likely serve as a roadmap as Democrats in Congress craft legislation to enact Biden's $1.9 trillion American Jobs Plan, which seeks to fulfill a range of campaign promises to fix the country’s crumbling infrastructure, slow the growing climate crisis and reduce economic inequality.

John Frank, author of Denver
Apr 6, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado state budget package proposes 11% increase in spending

Source: Colorado FY21-22 budget narrative. Chart: John Frank/Axios

It's like the recession never happened for the state budget.

Driving the news: The $34.1 billion state budget package introduced Monday includes big money for one-time projects, the restoration of cuts from the prior year and savings for less prosperous years in the future.

  • Be smart: An unexpected surplus of cash is driving state spending to new heights — and the total doesn't include the $3.9 billion in new federal stimulus dollars lawmakers will spend in separate legislation.