GOP leader ‘nervous’ about new MnDOT Commissioner Zelle’s tax comments

Gov. Mark Dayton’s appointment Wednesday of Charlie Zelle as state Transportation commissioner has state Republicans a little nervous.

Zelle heads his family business, Jefferson Lines, a regional bus company. He’ll remain CEO of the company but recuse himself from any MnDOT decision involving the company.

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Pat Shortridge said today in statement:

“On MPR this morning, Mr. Zelle said that despite Governor Dayton’s political hesitation, the gas tax will be on the table this year. Zelle didn’t stop there though; he said taxing people for the miles they drive is a ‘great idea’ and should be implemented. Apparently, Governor Dayton’s new Commissioner has a whole host of new taxes waiting for Minnesota families and businesses.

“While Governor Dayton claimed the gas tax is off the table, his appointee to head the state transportation committee spent his first interview touting an increased gas tax and a new mileage tax. The Governor is sending mixed signals to Minnesota families and businesses. Either the Governor is once again confused about his Administration’s actions (see Stadium, Vikings and Plowing Snow) or he’s trying to mislead Minnesotans about his true intentions.

“Today’s news, coupled with Senate Majority Leader Elect Tom Bakk’s rhetoric earlier this week that every tax increase is on the table, leads me to believe that Minnesotans are going to see an ‘all of the above’ approach when it comes to the DFL’s tax plans this legislative session.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 12/13/2012 - 03:12 pm.

    We should

    Be more worried about bumper to bumper traffic, deteriorating roads and bridge collapses in MN

  2. Submitted by Rod Loper on 12/14/2012 - 08:15 am.

    GOP against user fees?

    How do they want to finance our transportation infrastructure? Loans from the Chinese?
    Draws from the tobacco settlement? Toll booths on the Bachmann St. Croix bridge?

  3. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 07/24/2013 - 08:24 am.


    All those roads and bridges need to be paid for somehow. Of course Republicans think we would cut everything else in order to pay for roads. No trains, no bike paths, and certainly no “entitlement programs,” as they like to call our social safety net.

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