Here are two charts sent along by a reader:
They show the shares of grants awarded vs. the share of tax revenue for the five counties participating in the CTIB (Counties Transit Improvement Board) sales tax district.
Q: How would this change if SWLRT is passed? I’d have to assume that it would add a lot of orange to the first chart.
[Source Department of Revenue, CTIB.]
Without even knowing the dollar amounts, I’d wager that Hennepin County’s “fair share” will be enough to fund construction of Southwest and Bottineau LRT (and the Orange Line 35W BRT). As you can see from the second chart, Hennepin County generates over 3x the sales tax proceeds of Ramsey County.
The big problem is that these projects will not be funded concurrently. The amount of funds generated today by the .25% sales tax will only allow for construction of one line at a time. We really need to increase that to .5% or .75% if we want to see a rapid buildout of the LRT system, and add more rapid bus and freeway BRT in the future. With current funding levels, CTIB could not commit major funding to Bottineau until after Southwest is completed. CTIB will be paying at least $500MM for Southwest (30% of $1.7B), over a period of 5 years or longer. Furthermore, the state may not come up with its full share (10% or $170MM), which CTIB will have to make up. It likely that Bottineau would not open until 2025 or later if we do not increase the sales tax.
Regarding the suburban counties, I’m somewhat surprised Dakota County has received “less than their fair share”, given construction of the Red Line BRT. The insane amount of money ($20MM?) to be spent on the new Cedar Grove Station will probably bring them pretty close to even. Extensions and improvements to the Red Line, as well as their station(s) on the Orange Line BRT will keep them from being shortchanged going forward.
While it appears Anoka County got shortchanged in capital funding, the Northstar Line is sucking up a ton of operating dollars, certainly more than its fair share. The political climate on the Anoka County Board is unlikely to support or desire any further transit expansion. Anoka County’s best bet for more/better transit is a Central Ave Arterial BRT line that reaches Columbia Heights and Fridley, but as of right now the Arterial BRT lines are not eligible for CTIB funding, because they are not “Transitways”. Furthermore, the City of Minneapolis has killed or at least delayed aBRT on Central because of their streetcar plan (which barely reaches across the river into Northeast). Nordeasters and Columbia Heights residents should be screaming for that Central Ave aBRT line. It was one of the highest rated in the study, but doesn’t seem to a chance of near-term implementation.
Washington County appears to have gotten the short end of the stick for now, and almost voted to leave CTIB a few years back (the motion failed 2-3). If Gateway Corridor gets built, in any form, Washington County will have received their fair share and much, much more. Their pie would look about as unbalanced as Ramsey County’s does today. Ramsey County likely won’t be getting any major CTIB expenditures for a while, other than as part of the Gateway BRT project (which is largely driven by Washington County).
aBRT not being “transitways” should be a future post topic
That’s a podcast-worthy topic, no doubt about it.
Include operating grants and the Northstar line accounts for about 9& of all grants awarded. So it doesn’t seem that Anoka is eating more than its share.
I’d hazard a bet that the volume of blue in the first chart is due to funding the Central LRT line, the lions share of which is on the Ramsey County side of the line…
Yeah but it’s not like the Green Line doesn’t benefit Hennepin or Mpls… Hell, its impact on the U of MN alone is huge.
Would these numbers reflect the increase in revenues from the completion of Hiawatha vs the cost of construction for the green line?
CTIB wasn’t around when Hiawatha was built in 2004, so it’s not reflected in this chart. I don’t know what the funding breakdown for Hiawatha was exactly, but I imagine it was 50% federal + 50% state/Hennepin.
CTIB was established and began collecting taxes in 2008, so that’s the reason for the 2008 start date for the chart. Bill might want to add that to the caption for anyone wondering. I actually didn’t think about that when I wrote my super long comment above.
The CTIIB’s revenue is from the 0.25% sales tax in the five counties.
A 5 year look seems like a short sample for a transit investment/ payoff analysis. 15+ years would be very interesting.
This isn’t measuring payoff. It’s comparing how much money the .25% sales tax has collected in each of the 5 counties vs. where the money has been spent in the same time period. The “revenue generated” chart should probably be labeled “taxes collected” to be more clear.
Yeah, payoff was not the right word. I’m pretty sure though that 2008-2013 could be the only 5 year period where the investment chart would be so Ramsey County heavy since probably world war 2. So I’m not really sure this shows anything other than the green line was expensive. Oh, and how Ramsey county is holding back the super county of Hennepin. County comps in the metro are always tricky with regard to east/west. Hennepin county is 3 times the land area of Ramsey. Which has historically led to totally different local arrangements in the East vs West. Especially regarding transit, it is much easier for Hennepin to get their act together on transit planning. Impossible to chart/graph that. Ramsey misses out on a high percentage of tax gold auto sales to Dakota county and our Eden Prairie’s (Woodbury and Eagan) are of course outside Ramsey’s borders. Parts of Dakota and Washington need to be included to really get to east/west apples to apples. Hopefully the East metro counties work more in concert going forward especially on development of/and then along transit corridors. East Metro counties have got better at working together and there seems to be some transit vision consensus around a few corridor’s. Union Depot should help “shape” it fixed destination point. Although as Bill mentioned aBRT vs LRT is a very real conversation that has yet to be had.
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