This past Tuesday, Minnesota state legislators publicly reiterated that they annually allocate millions in gas tax dollars for snowmobile, ATVs, motorboat and dirt bike oriented programs. A report done by Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation shows that $350 million has been used to benefit motorized recreation since the 1960s and of that $150 million has been allocated to that since 2000.
Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation have launched a campaign to end this diversion of taxes to motorized recreation. Scott McLaughlin, a resident of Minneapolis’ Bryn Mawr Neighborhood, has said:
“Not one of the 1500 households in my neighborhood appear to even own ATVs, dirt-bike motorcycles, snowmobiles or mudder trucks. Its just not right that we are all paying into accounts to promote machines only a few are using while siphoning needed funds away from our deteriorating roads and bridges.”
Minnesotans pay 27.2 cents per gallon on gas, ranking 20th highest nationally. 3% of all gas tax revenue is diverted to motorized recreation. This may not seem like a lot, but Minnesota brought in $745 million in gas tax revenues last year alone. You do the math. As a Minnesotan myself, it’s unfortunate to know that instead of allocating funds to improve the infrastructure of Minnesota’s roads and highways, state legislators are more focused on catering to special interests as they continue to funnel millions in taxpayer dollars to help preserve and maintain snowmobile tracks.
Minnesotans should be aware of this tax fact every time they fill up their car. Whether or not you agree that gas tax dollars should be spent on motorized recreation or not, taxpayers should know exactly where their hard earned money is going.