Yet Another Transit Tax Proposal Paid for by…. ALL OF US!!!!
By Andrew Richter
Well, raising income taxes, property taxes, and broadening sales taxes just isn’t enough. Now, a huge transit tax is being proposed;
From the Golden Valley Patch;
A pair of legislators on Thursday introduced a $332 million proposal with a new transit tax, adding to the growing number of proposals to fund transit. Minneapolis Sen. Bobby Joe Champion (DFL District 59) and Brooklyn Park Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-District 36B) are proposing to spend an additional $300 million per year in the metro and $32 million in Greater Minnesota on transit and connections for people walking, bicycling or using wheelchairs.
Aren’t we already doing that? The Met Council has a $700 million budget, the County Transit Improvement Board spends over $100 million, the Three Rivers Park District is building trails and buying up land everywhere, and cities, counties, the CTIB, Three Rivers, and the State all have bonding authority so why is a new “tax” necessary?
“Across the state, people want more options and support investment in public transportation. And they want bicycling and walking to be part of that investment,” a news release quoted Hortman, the chief author of the bill in the House. “This bill is an opportunity to solve problems for Minnesotans, creating a more competitive, healthier state.”
People want more options? Well, as always, it depends how you ask the question. If you simply ask “do you want more or less transit?” people may say “yes.” If you ask them “do you want to tear up your neighborhood, force businesses and homeowners out, build section 8 housing, and then indefinitely fund a failing rail line?” you might get a different answer.
- 41.5 percent to the Metropolitan Council for bus transit;
- 41.5 percent to the Counties Transit Improvement Board;
- 7 percent to cities in the metro area to provide transit service and provide increased access for transit riders, pedestrians and cyclists through projects such as sidewalks, bike routes or shuttles;
- 7 percent to counties in the metro area for the same use as cities and
- 3 percent to the Metropolitan Council for regional bicycle, trail and pedestrian infrastructure and maintenance
So everyone will pay the sales tax and car owners will pay an “excise tax?” Here’s an idea; how about RIDERS pay for their own transit. Why are we taxing drivers to pay for riders?
Why do we need more sidewalks and bike routes? They may be nice to have, but are they really a NEED?
In addition to the sales tax, the bill would also set aside $95 million in bonding money for environmental studies, preliminary engineering, property acquisition, design and construction in the following transit corridors:
- Southwest Light Rail,
- Bottineau Boulevard,
- Nicollet Avenue,
- Snelling Avenue,
- Red Rock,
- Robert Street and
- Rush Line.
Although the corridors like Southwest and Bottineau are primarily known as light rail transit routes, the money could be spent on all forms of transportation in the corridor.
“We need a transit system that allows all our region’s residents to thrive,” a news release quoted Champion, the chief author of the bill in the Senate. “This bill would dramatically increase access to jobs for low income people and make it more affordable to get to work. Transportation is the second largest household expense. It costs more than health care or education. Existing transit riders need better transit options and our region needs this to compete.”
What an idiot. It’s the low-income people who are hit the hardest by regressive sales taxes. If you want to be more “competitive” why don’t you get rid of the income and corporate taxes? Businesses aren’t going to come here for light rail, they are going to go where they think they can make a profit. South Dakota has no huge light rail transit system yet they are “attracting” business.
The proposal is just one of various transit proposals in the Legislature. In early February, Edina Sen. Melisa Franzen (DFL-District 49) introduced Senate File 257 and Senate File 258—which would use bond proceeds to fund $118 million and $37 million, respectively, of the Southwest LRT project. Meanwhile, Gov. Mark Dayton recommended a quarter-cent sales tax increase that would set up a dedicated revenue stream for transit.
Really? I thought the Governor wanted to lower sales taxs??
Again is this really about “transit options?” Are people going to bike or walk to work in January if we build a bike path? Of course not. The point of things like this is to make driving as big a pain in the ARSE as possible and get X-number of people out of their cars so they can be controlled. If you take away someone’s car you can control where they work, where they bank, where they buy groceries etc. It’s all about control.
Entry filed under: Agenda 21, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, City Government, Community, County, Crystal, Environment, Golden Valley, Hennepin, New Hope, Plymouth, Three Rivers Park District, Transportation.