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Gov. Mark Dayton says a gas tax hike to fund road and bridge repairs should still be an option

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Gov. Mark Dayton says a gas tax increase to fund road and bridge repairs should still be on the table.

He declared that proposal dead late last year. But Dayton clarified Friday that was his political assessment, not his preference.

Dayton says he still thinks hiking the gas tax is the only way to provide consistent funding for billions of dollars of infrastructure improvements over the next decade. He says he'll leave it up to the Legislature to decide its fate.

House Republicans shot down the proposal to raise those taxes by at least 16 cents per gallon. Their plan would tap into a hefty budget surplus and utilize existing taxes on car parts and rentals.

Passing a major transportation bill will be a primary focus when the Legislature returns March 8.

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