Dayton says little public support for gas tax hike

Published On: Dec 12 2012 03:16:57 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 12 2012 03:16:49 PM CST
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -

Gov. Mark Dayton says he does not support an increase in Minnesota's gas tax "at this time" despite the recommendations of a task force which included his new transportation commissioner.

Dayton appointed Minneapolis bus company executive Charlie Zelle on Wednesday to lead the Department of Transportation. Zelle was on the panel that called last week for the gas tax to rise 40 cents per gallon over two decades to pay for improving highways.

Dayton says he doesn't think there's public support right now to hike the gas tax. But he says Minnesota's transportation system is struggling and will need major investments in the coming years.

Zelle says he knows that tax increases are a difficult sell but that the state's transportation challenges are serious.