Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton last week announced the creation of an advisory task force charged with coming up with ideas to raise revenue for road, highway and bridge projects.
Dayton said new revenue sources are needed to reverse the decline in the condition of the state’s transportation infrastructure.
“I’m not interested in nickel-and-dime modifications to our status quo because our status quo is getting worse,” Dayton said at a news conference with Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel and Metropolitan Council chairwoman Sue Haigh.
The group is charged with identifying and analyzing potential revenue sources and nontraditional approaches to transportation financing, as well as opportunities for public-private partnerships and helping develop a strategic marketing plan to gain public support for any new developments.
The group is charged with submitting its recommendations to Dayton and the Legislature by next December.
“Good transportation systems are essential to Minnesota’s economic competitiveness and quality of life,” Sorel said. “In creating this Transportation Finance Advisory Group, we will draw on a variety of experiences and ideas that will help us develop options for funding that will sustain our transportation systems for years to come.”
Officials said they expect state funding could fall as much as $50 billion short of what’s needed over the next two decades.
The state traditionally has used general obligation borrowing to support some trunk highway and other transportation projects, but often will use transportation-related revenues to repay the debt.