The following was released by Hennepin County:
The Counties Transit Improvement Board strongly applauds Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed quarter cent local sales tax increase for dedicated transit funding in the region.
“This new investment will allow for a quicker build-out of our regional transit system, including both light rail and bus rapid transit, as well as stabilization and growth in core bus services,” said Counties Transit Improvement Board Chair Peter McLaughlin.
“We are competing with our peers to attract new businesses and talent to Minnesota. The governor’s proposal will solidify the transportation component of his plans for a vibrant, more competitive Minnesota. When combined with the expansion of the sales tax base and the inclusion of Scott and Carver counties, the Governor’s budget proposal represents a huge leap forward.”
The Counties Transit Improvement Board has already invested nearly half a billion dollars in the region, leveraging more than half a billion dollars in matching federal funds. These transit projects attract significant private development that adds to the regional economy and provides a sound return on the public’s dollar, McLaughlin said.
Central Corridor LRT, on schedule to open in 2014, has already seen $1.2 billion in new housing and commercial development in the corridor, more than the $957 million public investment in the line. Similarly, private development along the Hiawatha LRT line has exceeded development expectations for the year 2020, with the addition of 10,000 new housing units to the corridor.
About the Counties Transit Improvement Board
The Counties Transit Improvement Board is taking regional transit to the next level in the metropolitan area. Since April 2008, five counties – Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington – have utilized a quarter-cent sales tax and a $20 motor vehicle sales tax, permitted by the Legislature, to invest in and advance transit projects by awarding annual capital and operating grants. The board works in collaboration with the Metropolitan Council and Carver and Scott counties. Learn more about the Counties Transit Improvement Board online at www.mnrides.org.
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