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House Speaker Says Surplus Douses Dayton Gas-Tax Proposal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota House Republicans are using news of a $1.87 billion budget surplus to douse Gov. Mark Dayton's call for increased gasoline taxes for road work.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt reacted Friday to the forecast by saying his caucus would push for tax cuts and to apply some of the money to transportation projects. Daudt says the surplus shows Minnesota government is collecting too much and should lower rates.

Dayton wants lawmakers to approve a 10-year transportation funding plan that includes a new 6.5 percent wholesale tax on fuel. Republicans have been resistant to that approach.

Daudt says the extra money in the general treasury is partly due to low gas prices, which freed up discretionary income for people to make other taxable purchases. He calls a gas tax hike "illogical."

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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