Et Cetera …

No new gas tax needed

Some Democratic lawmakers in the Minnesota Legislature are overreaching. They want to raise gas taxes, license tab fees, taxes on auto parts and services, and boost the sales tax for transportation in the Twin Cities metro area.

The gas tax is now 28.5 cents per gallon. It was increased 8.5 cents just a few years ago. But lawmakers constantly see the need for new projects. Enough.

Gov. Mark Dayton is right when he says Minnesotans do not want a gas tax hike, and that raising the tax would not make a big difference in transportation funding.

This group is a bargain

The Martin County Posse is a bargain. The group of 11 puts in volunteer hours under the supervision of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. It assists with search-and-rescue operations, disaster relief, and traffic and crowd patrol.

The group would like Martin County to spend $4,500 for uniforms, equipment and training and annual operations.

County leaders say they need to check the sheriff’s budget for the funds. Might we suggest that if the funds are not there, the county make the effort to ante up. Again, the posse does a lot for a little.

Golf carts on streets?

We have been remiss in not taking note of a recent decision in Truman to allow golf carts on city streets for transportation purposes. We have to agree with those who see danger in this practice.

Yes, the drivers will have to get permits from City Hall. But a golf cart can be difficult to spot in traffic or at intersections. It does not have the running lights or brake lights seen on a car.

Truman spent a long time finding a resolution to this issue, so city leaders are probably not going to change their minds. That choice doesn’t mitigate the danger.

Another new headache

As the regulations of Obamacare continue to unfold, Americans are learning more and more about how the health care reform mandate will affect them. For the city of Blue Earth, the new law could cost $46,000 per year. Yikes!

Basically, the city is facing a rule that involves part-time employees, who must be provided with health insurance if they work more than 30 hours in any week over the previous year. Yes, what this means is the city will monitor part-timers to make sure they do not work more than 30 hours. The work they cannot do will have to be done by someone else, creating a new headache for city leaders.