Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby twincitizen » December 2nd, 2016, 9:58 am

CTIB meets to discuss disbanding: http://www.startribune.com/transit-fund ... 404066436/
In so doing, the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) may be able to raise as much, or perhaps more, money for mass transit in the Twin Cities while bypassing the Legislature, which has been reluctant to fund expensive projects.

“This would remove us from the contentious debate in the Legislature and it would allow us to move forward,” said CTIB Chairman Peter McLaughlin

Dissolution of CTIB would permit each of the five member CTIB counties to increase the transit tax to a half-cent, although it’s unlikely all will opt to do so. As of Jan. 1, 26 outstate Minnesota counties will have levied a half-cent sales tax for transportation purposes.
Some of us have been saying this since Dakota County left, if not earlier. They should have done this the minute a transportation bill failed at the legislature.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Anondson » December 2nd, 2016, 10:07 am

At the street.mn fundraiser last night I thought Adam mentioning CTIB separation was just rumormongering, then I got home and caught up on my twitter feed only to see earlier in the day CTIB breaking up was something under serious talk.

I'm still conflicted, though leaning gradually for it.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Tiller » December 2nd, 2016, 10:23 am

So i would venture a guess that Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington counties will all levy their transit sales taxes, while Anoka and Dakota use theirs to mostly fund freeways (though Anoka probably has to keep funding Northstar, and Dakota may chip in a bit to help fund the Orange Line/Red Line/Red Rock).

I can live with it for now, as it should be enough to build out our current slate of projects. Once the DFL is in charge again we can raise the sales tax, but until then more transportation funding from the legislature doesn't seem likely.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby twincitizen » December 2nd, 2016, 10:43 am

Here's my (way too long) comment that I left on the Strib article:

If this goes through and CTIB is disbanded, here are my predictions:

Hennepin and Ramsey Counties will immediately vote to go up to 0.5%, and with any luck at the county boards**, the money will be 100% dedicated to transit funding (covering capital and operations). Both counties have a number of LRT and BRT projects in planning, nearing construction (Green Line extension, Blue Line extension, Orange Line BRT, Riverview Corridor, etc.)

Washington County will also go up to 0.5%, but will almost certainly split the pot between roads and transit - the county board REALLY wants to build Gateway / Gold Line BRT and they have strong support for that project in Oakdale and Woodbury. They also have some road projects they'd like to do in the outlying parts of the county.

Dakota County (already voted to leave) will enact the 0.5% tax too, and will spend it on both roads and transit. Their transit projects are fairly inexpensive (south of the river portion of the Orange Line BRT, possible extension and infill stations on the Red Line BRT), relative to the amount of funds they raise. They will have to contribute operating dollars to keep both Orange and Red Lines running, so there is going to have to be ongoing consensus with Hennepin on that.

Anoka County is the tough one to predict. Politically, there is no support for tax increases - the county board there is very fiscally conservative, but not quite to the point of insanity. They would probably just let the 0.25% CTIB tax go away, but they are locked in to paying a major portion of Northstar's operational expenses - the line exists mostly to serve Anoka County, which has all but 2 of the stations. So as much as they'd like, they can't drop the sales tax entirely, because then they'd be paying for Northstar out of property taxes. And they undoubtedly have some road projects they'd like to fund as well. So they could go for 0.25% or they could go up to 0.5%, depending on the board's appetites for big road building projects.

**We gotta keep our eyes on this, bigly. If this CTIB breakup does happen, it's up to us to make sure Hennepin and Ramsey Counties do not let any of the 0.5% tax go to roads. If they allow some of these funds to be used on road projects, there will effectively be zero increase in transit funding, even though we'll all be paying an extra 0.25%. I can't speak for everyone in St. Paul and Minneapolis, but I sure as shit do not want to pay another 0.25% sales tax for stroadbuilding in the exurban parts of the core counties.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Anondson » December 2nd, 2016, 12:09 pm

Carver prediction?

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Silophant » December 2nd, 2016, 12:20 pm

Carver isn't in the CTIB, so they already have the option. Based on no data whatsoever, I imagine they're using it to expand 212.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby twincitizen » December 2nd, 2016, 1:20 pm

Scott County was one of the first to enact the 0.5% sales tax. Carver has not. County Boards have the option of doing either 0.25% or 0.5% (or zero, obviously). Counties also have the option of collecting the wheelage tax (paid along with your annual tabs), which was previously $5/year, and only recently increased to $10/year (in the counties that collect it). Beginning in 2017, counties will have the ability to increase that wheelage tax all the way up to $20/year.

Association of MN Counties has a map: http://www.mncounties.org/legislative/l ... /index.php

In the metro, Anoka stands alone in not collecting the wheelage tax. When the state increased it from $5 to 10, the Anoka County board instead chose to stop collecting it. Now that they can charge any amount between $0 and $20, I'm really curious if they will reinstate the tax after a few years off. That would be one way the Anoka County board could avoid increase funding without having to go from 0.25% to 0.5%.

All other metro counties (and a majority statewide) collect the wheelage tax at the current $10 rate. It remains to be seen which (if any) will be so bold as to go up to $20.

By my extremely quick count of that map, 24 counties (not including CTIB counties) have already enacted the sales tax. Many of them extremely conservative places. And many of them low population counties where the sales tax is probably not going to generate much money.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Anondson » December 2nd, 2016, 1:24 pm

Yah know, that's a pretty topical map for Map Monday... ;)

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby twincitizen » December 2nd, 2016, 1:33 pm

Oh and here's something really interesting about this sales tax:
The taxes must terminate when revenues raised are sufficient to finance the project, except for taxes
for operating costs of a transit project or improvement, or for transit operations.
Here's a complete FAQ on the sales tax: http://www.mncounties.org/document_cent ... %20Tax.pdf

And one for the wheelage tax: http://www.mncounties.org/document_cent ... %20Tax.pdf

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby twincitizen » December 22nd, 2016, 8:17 am

CTIB digs into details of possible breakup (locked)

All counties but Ramsey would see their fund balances go up, Ramsey would struggle to stay in the black the next couple years.
(Q: Is this because Green Line is still being paid for?)

Hennepin and Ramsey would have to go to 0.5% just to pay for their currently planned projects. The 0.25% increase would bring Hennepin an additional $135.5MM/year and Ramsey $41.2MM/year in 2018.

Going forward and assuming no 10% coming from the state, transit capital projects would be a 50/50 split between the county and feds.

In order to completely dissolve CTIB, all counties must agree. Hard to imagine they won't though, as Dakota is already on its way out, Anoka County has toyed with the idea. Hennepin and Ramsey need the additional sales tax, and this is the only way they'll get it, so they don't really have a choice.

I wonder if we'll see a new 3 county joint-powers agreement of Hennepin-Ramsey-Washington? Or just Hennepin-Ramsey? Or just Ramsey-Washington?

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby jebr » December 22nd, 2016, 8:50 am

What happens with the funding for the Northstar Line operating expenses under such an agreement? Does that fall back onto mainly Anoka County or on the Met Council?

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby twincitizen » December 22nd, 2016, 9:31 am

Here's a doc with 2010-2014 data: https://www.metrotransit.org/Data/Sites ... s-2014.pdf
Looks like it costs about $16MM/year to operate, with fares covering about $2.6MM of that amount, leaving between $13-14MM year to be subsidized by a combination of funds from Sherburne County, Anoka County (via CTIB), plus MVST (I don't know how they specifically allocate MVST funds per line). It's probably all fairly safe/stable, though the MVST funds are coming from the same pot as the operating $ for LRT & bus system, which really sucks because Northstar is just a massive drain on our overall transit budget that could be funding bus service.

The question for Anoka County is "how much of Anoka's current .25% tax revenue is needed to pay for their portion of Northstar?" Is there anything left over? After a CTIB breakup, who knows what the tax-averse Anoka County board will do. Pretty unlikely they would just eliminate the .25% tax, as that would cause a big property tax increase to pay for Northstar. Also pretty unlikely they'll go up to .5%, unless they are really eager to build some roads and have public support for the tax increase. Notably, Anoka County recently chose to ditch the wheelage tax , rather than suffer their residents an increase from $5 to $10 per vehicle per year. So yeah, they hate taxes.

Also, of CTIB's current ~$6MM allocation to Northstar, I assume that some sliver of that is coming from Hennepin's "pot", and not 100% Anoka. Question is how much would Hennepin be on the hook for annually, following a CTIB breakup. Hopefully not very much of that $6MM (EDIT: looks like Hennepin is on the hook for 18% of that, which seems high)

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby matt91486 » December 22nd, 2016, 11:48 am

Is there a mechanism for a city in Anoka county to step in for a certain portion of costs for a project, or not really -- thinking of if you were to extend anything on Central Avenue into Columbia Heights, mainly.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Tcmetro » December 22nd, 2016, 1:55 pm

http://www.mnrides.org/sites/default/fi ... tation.pdf

The slides here discuss how capital and operating costs will be shared.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby twincitizen » December 22nd, 2016, 3:28 pm

If everything goes as planned, sales tax could increase by .25% as soon as July 1, 2017!

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Tiller » December 22nd, 2016, 8:36 pm

Looking through that presentation, looks like Hennepin County will have quite the war chest left over for transit improvements, even after funding SWLRT and BLRT.

Ramsey County, not so much. They'd be holding on by the skin of their teeth in getting Riverview, Rush, and Gateway built.

The suburban counties will basically have a few million each left over for freeway improvements.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Silophant » December 22nd, 2016, 8:48 pm

Is there a mechanism for a city in Anoka county to step in for a certain portion of costs for a project, or not really -- thinking of if you were to extend anything on Central Avenue into Columbia Heights, mainly.
Alternately, is there a mechanism for Hennepin County to trade Rogers and Champlin and wherever else to Anoka County to get Columbia Heights?

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby intercomnut » December 22nd, 2016, 9:37 pm

So is all of this assuming the entire 0.5% would go to capital/operating costs for transitway projects?

If so, regular bus operations are going to suffer, what with the $89 million deficit Metro Transit has this year.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Tiller » December 23rd, 2016, 12:36 am

The CTIB disbanding is a fait accompli in terms of raising funds, though. It sounded like metro transit wanted to bargain with the legislature to get a 1/4 cent sales tax (perhaps going to the met council since the CTIB is dead) in exchange for a fare increase.

Would a 1/4 cent sales tax be enough to cover the gap if the state pulled it's funding as well? Idk how much of Metro Transit's funding comes from the legislature. The metro completely paying for metro transit in lieu of the state could be a chip in negotiations if it works out to a net positive. Met Council reform, too.

Ps: this would leave the counties with the money to spend as they please, so Hennepin could use it to fund Midtown, aBRT, ect.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby MNdible » December 23rd, 2016, 10:18 am

The economic might of Hennepin County, even when compared to other wealthy metro counties, is truly a wonder to behold.


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