Support Builds for Gov. Dayton's Quarter-Cent Tax Increase

The Counties Transit Improvement Board voted to support a local sales tax increase for transit funding.

The following was released by Hennepin County:

The Counties Transit Improvement Board voted at its February meeting to support Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed quarter-cent local sales tax increase for dedicated transit funding in the region.

 “Not only are we competing for scarce federal dollars to build transit investments like the Southwest Light Rail Line, we are also competing with other regions to attract companies and talent," said Counties Transit Improvement Board Chair Peter McLaughlin. 

"Using the metro area sales tax as a long-term funding source allows the region to plan ahead and build the kinds of transit investments Minnesota needs.” 

The proposed quarter-cent increase in the regional transit sales tax would be imposed across the seven-county metropolitan region for the build-out of the Metropolitan Council's adopted plan for transit expansion. This would include new light rail transit, bus rapid transit or commuter rail lines to serve major corridors; expanding the bus system to meet growing ridership across the region; and providing a long-term source of funding to stabilize operating budgets. 

CTIB’s vote to support increased funding for transit expansion comes on the heels of a recent public opinion poll showing broad support for expanded and improved public transit. Nearly two-thirds of voters surveyed statewide support increasing the metro area sales tax in order to fund transit improvements.

Minnesota’s three largest local Chambers of Commerce – the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and TwinWest Chamber of Commerce – hired a bipartisan team of nationally known pollsters Public Opinion Strategies and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates to conduct the poll of 700 Minnesota voters. The poll was taken Jan. 6-8. 

Jimmy Jones February 21, 2013 at 06:08 PM
How is it that light rail keeps getting support from anyone! It has been proven over and over again to be a huge financial burden that does little or not good ... at least it never offsets all the negative. If the State of Minnesota is going to raise taxes, then at least spend the money on something that makes financial sense.
Mike B. February 22, 2013 at 01:34 AM
It seems as if Minnesota state officials refuse to learn from the mistakes of other states and cities. The Detroit "people mover" boondoggle is a case in point. And Minneapolis is looking at the red-light cameras again. Many other cities have eliminated these cameras, and not only because of courts' ruling them unconstitutional. These red-light cameras actually cause more accidents, as drivers slam on their brakes and get rear-ended. In many cities, the politicians are "on the take" from the manufacturers of these cameras, which is the only reason they came into existence anyway... and not some supposed safety benefit.
Timothy Hall February 22, 2013 at 02:22 AM
The TwinWest Chamber of Commerce is pushing for trains. They are also endorsing state Democrats to get them. This is a complete conflict of interest to small businesses.
guy davidson February 22, 2013 at 02:40 AM
I agree - the rail trains lose money... why why even build them?
Mike B. February 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Who are the 700 people polled by the so-called nationally-known pollsters? I could cherry-pick 700 people and come up with 700 people against another one of Dayton's schemes to further increase the tax burdern on Minnesotans. These so-called nationally-known, out-of-state polling firms are hired to provide cover when a project turns into a failure or boondoggle, in an attempt to put the blame on someone else.
David Valentine February 22, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Subsidization of anything is a bad idea. Liberals love it. Has anyone checked out what we should be doing? an inexpensive OVERHEAD light Private Rapid Transit system developed at the U of M. We should have built this! Check it out! More money down the rabbit hole. http://www.taxi2000.com/technology.html
rob_h78 February 22, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Oh - Conservatives love to subsidize all sort of things.... Farm subsidizes, big oil subsidizes, coal subsidizes, oh the list goes and on and and on..... We are SO far away from a Free Market that really no one has any clean hands regarding subsidizes...
Mike B. February 22, 2013 at 06:22 PM
RE: Rob_h78's comment... True conservatives don't want to subsidize pork-barrell military projects, big agriculture, etc. Unfortunately, there are too few real conservatives. We need more senators such as Tom Coburn in Washington. And more true Tea Party representatives.
Timothy Hall February 22, 2013 at 06:29 PM
The choice will be clear next election. Do we do less damage to the environment by drilling for oil instead of putting in windmills? Also, by drilling for oil we would be able to pay state pensions. With windmills we hurt the birds, and have to cut pensions.
RJ February 22, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Gov. Daytons plan to broaden the tax base and lower the base rate has not even been passed and he is looking for ways to raise the new lower base sales tax rate that has not even been lowered yet. What does that tell you about lowering the base rate to allow him to tax all of the services and B2B transactions. Which shell is the pea under??
rob_h78 February 22, 2013 at 08:25 PM
IMHO - these "true conservatives" get to be "true" because they know that the subsidizes will still go through so they won't have to face the consequences in their state. For example, while I think Tom Coburn is a pretty straight up talker, he knows full well that he can speak out against for subsidizes and look like a true conservative but that those subsidizes will still go through. Only when the farmers and others people and companies in his state would be a real risk of losing those subsidizes -for example if Coburn had the deciding vote would we know where he would really place his chips - when there would be some real consequences.
Matt Eckholm April 09, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Hurt the birds vs. continue to perpetuate an unsustainable and dirty fuel source? How is that even an argument?
Timothy Hall April 10, 2013 at 01:30 AM
The birds is only part of the argument. We have enough fuel to pay for state pensions for the next 200 years.
Mike B. April 10, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Although, I must admit, if whirling windmills would knock off the plague of Canadian geese, I'm all for the windmills!
Al Anderson April 10, 2013 at 02:16 PM
While there are certainly some groups that support the building out of the forever fiscally stupid light rail system -- it is highly misleading to claim that "support builds". More shoddy journalism in action.....always with a leftist agenda behind it


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