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Taxation

Page history last edited by Steve Escher 11 years, 7 months ago

 

 

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Introduction

 

In addition to all other information on this website, we have to include how the 35W bridge collapse will impact the pocketbooks of not just Minnesotans, but all people of the United States. This section on Taxation will provide internet-mined information on how much it is expected to cost per day for re-routing of traffic, and overall for the reconstruction of the bridge. There will be information regarding how some of Minnesota's revenues from lottery proceeds, various taxes, and funding is spent. Additionally, information about what other taxes and requests for funding bills are being proposed will be included.

 

At the end of this section is an added commentary area which includes views and commentaries on the ever present Red Tape.

 

None of these commentaries come close enough to be more humanly meaningful than Rockie Lynne (www.rockielynne.com). Along with 56 other artists who are compiling 57 songs for victims relief, Rockie is one of Minnesota's own whose voice resonates with the feelings of fear, anguish and fortitude (Musicians for Minneapolis, 2008):

 

“Life’s highway has many mile markers. Certain events and occasions shape how we define our very existence: high school graduation, our wedding day and the birth of a child. Most of these events are memorable times in our lives that we reflect fondly upon.Other such mile markers are not.

 

 

Every once in a great while something happens that shakes us to our very core. It frightens our souls and freezes that moment of time in our memory forever. JFK, The Challenger space shuttle disaster and September 11 are times we all remember where we were and what we were doing at that exact moment.

 

 

August 1st, 2007, is one such event, not just for Minnesota but also for our entire nation. We stood motionless, numb and in disbelief as we heard the news, praying this must be some mistake. Not here. Not in our great state. We worried about our own families and our hearts broke for those families who, in that one moment in time, lost everything.

 

 

Then in our darkest hour, in the instant when most would find no reason to go on, Minnesota, as it always does, showed its strength and compassion.

 

 

The angels came from everywhere. From the cars fortunate enough to be saved—from the surrounding homes and playgrounds—from our amazing police, fire and rescue workers. We pulled together. We showed the world grace, dignity and honor as we wrapped our hearts around our fallen families, searched for survivors and cared for our wounded. Minnesota exemplifies what America is all about. I am proud to be one of you. This song is from my heart to yours.” – Love, Rockie


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The Price of the Collapse

 

Minnesota transportation officials wanted to provide a quick analysis of the costs of navigating around the fallen bridge. They focused on two primary detours -- one is a route around the bridge on Interstates 694 and 94, and the other involves Highway 280.

 

MnDOT's director of investment analysis, Ed Idzorek and his colleagues wanted to get a quick snapshot of how much extra time and extra miles drivers would rack up because of those two official detours. So they looked at the extra mileage and figured out its worth.  They also computed the extra time -- typically an additional five to 10 minutes of driving on any given leg. MnDOT values that time at $13 per hour for the average driver. For truckers, it's $21 per hour. "When we talk to the industry, they think we're being optimistically low on that figure," Idzorek said. "They think that value should be higher, so we're probably being a bit conservative in that respect."

 

 

MnDOT's calculation puts the costs to truckers at about $27,000 a day. But that number is a small fraction of the one computed by the Minnesota Trucking Association. In 2000, the organization looked at what would happen to the trucking industry if a bridge were out of commission due to repairs, assuming such repairs would have to happen eventually. It just so happened they looked at the 35W span.

 

 

The organization's president, John Hausladen, says back then, in 2000, the estimated cost to the industry of that bridge's closure was about $125,000 a day. "So if you take that with the fuel price increases and things, we think the trucking piece could be almost twice what it was in 2000," Hausladen said. That means the current hit would be $250,000 in extra costs per day (Baxter, Anita, Aug. 2007).

 

 

How the Bridge will be Funded 

 

Taxes/Bonds/Borrowing 

 

Gas Tax 

 

Transportation Bill

 

Borrowing Bill

 

 

Private and public money

 

Emergency Funding

 

Federal funding

 

Public Funding

 

 

Possible Use of lottery proceeds (Fiscal Year 2007)  

 

 

Victim Compensation

 

 


 

 

 

 

Commentaries 

 

Unnecessary Spending

 

 

Tax cuts

 

"As a former insider, I know very well the angst and frustration of the dedicated men and women who are charged with building and maintaining that infrastructure. And it is a fatally serious business, as we unfortunately learned on Wednesday. But not only do these silent, unseen civil servants have to deal with this task of galactic proportions, they also have to deal with political forces hell bent on keeping the effort under funded. And when I say under funded, I’m talking a level that I consider shameful... And who are these politicians who are responsible for this neglect of one of the most important elements of our nation’s economy, our highway infrastructure? It’s the Republican’s and their all-important tax cuts...Our countries system of roads is like its cardio circulatory system. Our countries economic health depends on it. It’s one of the reasons I don’t have any faith in Republican politicians. They are always touting how tax cuts will encourage new investment in our economy. Yeah, what about investing in the thing that economy’s life depends on, our highway system? The Republican’s attitude on this is hypocritical, irresponsible, and short sighted" (Barber, Devin, Aug, 2007).

 

New Vikings stadium

 

NFL officials got a pretty clear answer Monday to their questions about support for public financing of a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium: Not in 2008. The team enlisted the NFL in its quest for a new $954 million stadium complex on the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis. State leaders have their own worries right now, with a $373 million deficit projected by mid-2009 and gnawing questions about the state of Minnesota's transportation infrastructure after the fatal Interstate 35W bridge collapse in August. They're also getting complaints about rising property taxes and school funding. "We've got other priorities right now," Pawlenty said. (WCCO.com, Dec. 2007).

Oil company record profits

 

The federal budget for transportation comes largely from excise taxes, particularly on gasoline, set by Congress at 18.4 cents in 1993 and eroded over time by inflation and fuel efficiency. As such, over the last decade, state legislatures in 14 states have voted to raise the state gas tax 19 times. And several states are looking at toll roads and congestion pricing initiatives to help shore up the roads (Saulney and Steinhauer, Aug. 2007).

 

The government takes about 40 cents right off the top, with about 18 cents going to the feds. State taxes vary widely, but the national average is about 22 cents a gallon. Most of this money is used to build and maintain roads. Crude oil: This is the most expensive part of a gallon of gas. $2.07 from every gallon of gas goes to producers of crude like Chevron, BP, and smaller outfits like Anadarko and Marathon, or national oil companies controlled by countries like Saudi Arabia, Mexico or Venezuela. (Hargreaves, Steve, Mar. 2008).

 

Additional unnecessary spending

 

 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday (August 10, 2007) said it will launch a multimillion-dollar campaign against red tape, lawsuits and regulations hindering efforts to fix America's infrastructure in the wake of last week's bridge collapse in Minnesota (Stoddard, Ed, 2007).

 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it will launch a multimillion-dollar campaign against red tape, lawsuits and regulations hindering efforts to fix America's infrastructure in the wake of last week's bridge collapse in Minnesota (Stoddard, 2007).

 

 

 

 

See Also:

 

The Price of the Collapse

 

How the Bridge will be Funded

 

 

 

Resources:

 

Comments (2)

pierc188@... said

at 6:52 pm on Apr 20, 2008

The last sentence in the first paragraph was a little awkward with three usages of the word "and", I hope that my little revision is acceptable. I went through and checked the links in the page and checked to make sure they were not dead links a few needed to be fixed, I hope they are correctly directed now. The rest of the changes I made focused around making the page consistent with itself.

flate026@... said

at 3:02 pm on Apr 21, 2008

Thanks, Anthony. I saw that some of my links did not show as a link even though I copy and pasted from our delicious acct and I wasn't sure what it meant. Your revisions are great and I appreciate them. You can look at your own stuff only so many times, ya know?

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