PUBLIC HIGHWAY SYSTEM
Section 1. AUTHORITY OF STATE; PARTICIPATION OF POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS. The state may construct, improve and maintain public highways, may assist political subdivisions in this work and by law may authorize any political subdivision to aid in highway work within its boundaries.
Sec. 2. TRUNK HIGHWAY SYSTEM. There is hereby created a trunk highway system which shall be constructed, improved and maintained as public highways by the state. The highways shall extend as nearly as possible along the routes number 1 through 70 described in the constitutional amendment adopted November 2, 1920, and the routes described in any act of the legislature which has made or hereafter makes a route a part of the trunk highway system.
The legislature may add by law new routes to the trunk highway system. The trunk highway system may not exceed 12,200 miles in extent, except the legislature may add trunk highways in excess of the mileage limitation as necessary or expedient to take advantage of any federal aid made available by the United States to the state of Minnesota.
Any route added by the legislature to the trunk highway system may be relocated or removed from the system as provided by law. The definite location of trunk highways numbered 1 through 70 may be relocated as provided by law but no relocation shall cause a deviation from the starting points or terminals nor cause any deviation from the various villages and cities through which the routes are to pass under the constitutional amendment adopted November 2, 1920. The location of routes may be determined by boards, officers or tribunals in the manner prescribed by law.
Sec. 3. COUNTY STATE-AID HIGHWAY SYSTEM. A county state-aid highway system shall be constructed, improved and maintained by the counties as public highways in the manner provided by law. The system shall include streets in municipalities of less than 5,000 population where necessary to provide an integrated and coordinated highway system and may include similar streets in larger municipalities.
Sec. 4. MUNICIPAL STATE-AID STREET SYSTEM. A municipal state-aid street system shall be constructed, improved and maintained as public highways by municipalities having a population of 5,000 or more in the manner provided by law.
Sec. 5. HIGHWAY USER TAX DISTRIBUTION FUND. There is hereby created a highway user tax distribution fund to be used solely for highway purposes as specified in this article. The fund consists of the proceeds of any taxes authorized by sections 9 and 10 of this article. The net proceeds of the taxes shall be apportioned: 62 percent to the trunk highway fund; 29 percent to the county state-aid highway fund; nine percent to the municipal state-aid street fund. Five percent of the net proceeds of the highway user tax distribution fund may be set aside and apportioned by law to one or more of the three foregoing funds. The balance of the highway user tax distribution fund shall be transferred to the trunk highway fund, the county state-aid highway fund, and the municipal state-aid street fund in accordance with the percentages set forth in this section. No change in the apportionment of the five percent may be made within six years of the last previous change.
Sec. 6. TRUNK HIGHWAY FUND. There is hereby created a trunk highway fund which shall be used solely for the purposes specified in section 2 of this article and the payment of principal and interest of any bonds issued under the authority of section 11 of this article and any bonds issued for trunk highway purposes prior to July 1, 1957. All payments of principal and interest on bonds issued shall be a first charge on money coming into this fund during the year in which the principal or interest is payable.
Sec. 7. COUNTY STATE-AID HIGHWAY FUND. There is hereby created a county state-aid highway fund. The county state-aid highway fund shall be apportioned among the counties as provided by law. The funds apportioned shall be used by the counties as provided by law for aid in the construction, improvement and maintenance of county state-aid highways. The legislature may authorize the counties by law to use a part of the funds apportioned to them to aid in the construction, improvement and maintenance of other county highways, township roads, municipal streets and any other public highways, including but not limited to trunk highways and municipal state-aid streets within the respective counties.
Sec. 8. MUNICIPAL STATE-AID STREET FUND. There is hereby created a municipal state-aid street fund to be apportioned as provided by law among municipalities having a population of 5,000 or more. The fund shall be used by municipalities as provided by law for the construction, improvement and maintenance of municipal state-aid streets. The legislature may authorize municipalities to use a part of the fund in the construction, improvement and maintenance of other municipal streets, trunk highways, and county state-aid highways within the counties in which the municipality is located.
Sec. 9. TAXATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES. The legislature by law may tax motor vehicles using the public streets and highways on a more onerous basis than other personal property. Any such tax on motor vehicles shall be in lieu of all other taxes thereon, except wheelage taxes imposed by political subdivisions solely for highway purposes. The legislature may impose this tax on motor vehicles of companies paying taxes under the gross earnings system of taxation notwithstanding that earnings from the vehicles may be included in the earnings on which gross earnings taxes are computed. The proceeds of the tax shall be paid into the highway user tax distribution fund. The law may exempt from taxation any motor vehicle owned by a nonresident of the state properly licensed in another state and transiently or temporarily using the streets and highways of the state.
Sec. 10. TAXATION OF MOTOR FUEL. The legislature may levy an excise tax on any means or substance used for propelling vehicles on the public highways of this state or on the business of selling it. The proceeds of the tax shall be paid into the highway user tax distribution fund.
Sec. 11. HIGHWAY BONDS. The legislature may provide by law for the sale of bonds to carry out the provisions of section 2. The proceeds shall be paid into the trunk highway fund. Any bonds shall mature serially over a term not exceeding 20 years and shall not be sold for less than par and accrued interest. If the trunk highway fund is not adequate to pay principal and interest of these bonds when due, the legislature may levy on all taxable property of the state in an amount sufficient to meet the deficiency or it may appropriate to the fund money in the state treasury not otherwise appropriated. [Amended, November 2, 1982]