Two City Council members, one in Minneapolis and the other in St. Paul, are introducing resolutions this week calling on legislators to provide dedicated funding for new and repaired roads, bridges and transit in the state's cities.
Most city streets are built and repaired with the use of local property tax revenues, which the council members say is an inequitable way to share what they believe should be a statewide responsiblity.
"Unless we start looking for new state resources to help fund our streets, the burden will continue to fall on local property taxpayers in our cities," St. Paul City Council Member Chris Tolbert said, in a prepared statement.
"We need partnership and support at the statewide level to come up with a real, sustainable solution to our critical infrastructure needs," according to a statement by Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden.
At Wednesday's St. Paul City Council meeting, Tolbert said the resolutions are part of an effort led by the League of Minnesota Cities to lobby the Legislature for dedicated road funding, such as the wheelage tax used by some counties.
At least 30 Minnesota cities had passed similar resolutions as of Wednesday, he said. St. Paul City Council members then proceeded to unanimously approve the measure.
According to the resolutions, about 14 percent of Minnesota's roads -- more than 19,000 miles -- are owned and maintained by the state's 853 cities, and more than 80 percent of them aren't eligible for state funding.
That's also true for more than 700 Minnesota cities with populations below 5,000, the resolutions state.
Rural and suburban communities across Minnesota also are joining in the campaign to seek more funding for local transportation infrastructure.