Gov. Walz & Democrats Playing Politics with Taxes while Minnesotans Suffer

Minneapolis, MN – Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman David Hann called out Gov. Walz and the Democrats for their continued political gimmicks regarding taxes on Minnesotans amidst rising energy prices and a historic state budget surplus.

“Gov. Walz’s call for pausing the federal gas tax is a laughable political stunt. He must think that pausing the federal gas tax and raising Minnesota’s gas tax makes sense! The Governor and DFL legislators have always supported increasing, not reducing or pausing the gas tax in Minnesota. Together they’ve proposed raising the gas tax on Minnesotans by 25 cents a gallon over the past few years. Now, they are suddenly concerned about rising prices – due to the shortages created by their policies to shut down oil production and distribution. The hypocrisy is stunning.

“Meanwhile, House DFLers are holding workers and businesses hostage with a potential massive tax increase on unemployment insurance – while hanging on to an historic surplus of more than $9 billion. It’s time for Gov. Walz and the Democrats in the legislature to act and provide real, meaningful relief that Minnesota’s workers and businesses need.” – Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman David Hann

Gov. Walz’s recent call for pausing the federal gas tax follows his and legislative Democrats’ attempts to raise the gas tax on Minnesotans twice, in 2019 and 2021. Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature also pushed a gimmicky gas tax holiday after they and Walz tried to raise the gas tax by more than 25 cents per gallon since he first took office. Meanwhile, legislative Democrats are threatening businesses with a massive tax hike at a time when Minnesota has a $9.3 billion surplus.

News Background

After years of pushing gas tax increases, Gov. Walz joined a call to pause the federal gas tax.
“Tim Walz, other Democratic governors call for federal gas tax holiday” (Dana Ferguson, Tim Walz, other Democratic governors call for federal gas tax holiday, Duluth News Tribune, 3/8/3033)

Walz and Democrats in the Legislature have proposed multiple gas tax increases since Walz took office:
“Gov. Tim Walz unveiled a nearly $50 billion, two-year budget plan on Tuesday that calls for raising the state’s gas tax by 20 cents a gallon — about a 70 percent increase from the current tax…” (Briana Bierschbach and Brian Bakst, Walz budget: big gas tax hike; more money for schools, health, roads, MPR News, 2/19/2019)

“The House DFL bill would raise more than $350 million over the next four years by raising the motor fuels tax by about 5 cents per gallon over that time.” (Tim Pugmire, House roads plan includes higher gas tax, MPR News, 4/7/2021)

Minnesota House Democrats pushed a gimmicky gas tax holiday.
“…House Democrats have proposed to suspend the state’s gas tax through the summer months.” (John Croman, Lawmakers pitch gas tax holiday in Minnesota, KARE 11 NBC TV, 2/25/2022)

Democrats in the Minnesota House are blocking shoring up Minnesota’s unemployment insurance program – which would result in a massive tax increase on workers and businesses.
“Legislative Republicans want the fund replenished from the state’s budget surplus before rate increases kick in for employers. But some DFLers aren’t there yet.” (Peter Callaghan, MinnPost, Refilling the Minnesota’s unemployment insurance fund might depend on getting bonus checks to essential workers, 2/8/2022)

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