Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

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acs
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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby acs » June 14th, 2016, 3:08 pm

http://www.startribune.com/dakota-count ... 382948191/
Aaaand they voted to leave. Is regionalism or any kind of cooperation completely dead? Judging by Matt's comments in the article, yes, very much so.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby David Greene » June 14th, 2016, 3:37 pm

Yeah, what does the statute actually say? I thought the CTIB counties were not allowed to use the transportation sales tax every other county was granted.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby twincitizen » June 14th, 2016, 5:02 pm

Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington counties, by resolution of their county boards, joined the Metropolitan Transportation Area joint powers agreement. Carver and Scott counties, although eligible, did not join the agreement. Scott County has now chosen to impose their own separate tax under the Greater Minnesota transportation sales and use tax authority. A 0.25 percent local sales tax is imposed in the counties that are part of the joint powers agreement. The tax does not expire unless the county withdraws from the joint powers agreement. The revenues raised must be used for studies, property acquisition, capital projects, and operating assistance for transit projects.
Any county that is not part of the Metropolitan Transportation Area may singly or through a joint powers agreement, impose a local sales and use tax of up to one-half of 1 percent and a $20 excise tax on commercial sales of motor vehicles to fund a transportation or transit project. In order to impose the tax, the county or counties must specify a project to be funded by the proceeds. Originally the tax had to be approved by the voters at a general election, but in 2013 this was changed to only require a county resolution to impose the tax. In 2013 the use of the tax was also expanded to allow it to pay for transit capital and operating costs and capital costs for a safe routes to school program, as well as specified transportation capital projects. Except in the cases where the tax is funding transit operating costs, the tax expires when the specific project is completed.
http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/localsal.pdf

Not a direct link to statute, but a pretty good summary of sales taxes around the state.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby David Greene » June 14th, 2016, 8:52 pm

Found it.
Minnesota legislature wrote:297A.992 METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AREA SALES TAX.
Subdivision 1.Definitions.

For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them:

(1) "metropolitan transportation area" means the counties participating in the joint powers agreement under subdivision 3;

[...]

297A.993 GREATER MINNESOTA TRANSPORTATION Next Previous SALES Next AND USE Previous TAX Next .
Subdivision 1.Authorization; rates.

Notwithstanding section 297A.99, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 13, or 477A.016, or any other law, the board of a county outside the metropolitan Previous transportation Next area, as defined under section 297A.992, subdivision 1... may by resolution of the county board, or each of the county boards, following a public hearing impose (1) a Previous transportation Next Previous sales Next Previous tax Next at a rate of up to one-half of one percent on retail Previous sales Next and uses taxable under this chapter...

[...]

Subd. 2.Allocation; termination.

The proceeds of the taxes must be dedicated exclusively to: (1) payment of the capital cost of a specific Previous transportation Next project or improvement; (2) payment of the costs, which may include both capital and operating costs, of a specific transit project or improvement; (3) payment of the capital costs of a safe routes to school program under section 174.40; or (4) payment of transit operating costs. The Previous transportation or transit project or improvement must be designated by the board of the county, or more than one county acting under a joint powers agreement. Except for taxes for operating costs of a transit project or improvement, or for transit operations, the taxes must terminate when revenues raised are sufficient to finance the project.
If I'm reading this correctly, any CTIB county can declare itself not part of CTIB anymore and impose up to a 1/2% sales tax for capital costs of a specific transportation project and/or for operating costs of transit. In the case of a capital project, the sales tax blinks off when enough revenue is generated to fund it.

Assuming Dakota isn't going to get much more transitway development under the current CTIB arrangement, it makes sense for them to leave and use part of their sales tax to contribute whatever percent of funding of the Red and Orange lines is required.

Hennepin and Ramsey counties are in a more difficult spot. If they leave CTIB they can impose a larger sales tax but they need to re-authorize one for every single capital project they do. I suppose they could declare an entire network of transit as a project. I don't know what's reasonable under the statute.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby acs » June 14th, 2016, 9:31 pm

David Greene wrote:Found it.
Minnesota legislature wrote:297A.992 METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AREA SALES TAX.
Subdivision 1.Definitions.

For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them:

(1) "metropolitan transportation area" means the counties participating in the joint powers agreement under subdivision 3;

[...]

297A.993 GREATER MINNESOTA TRANSPORTATION Next Previous SALES Next AND USE Previous TAX Next .
Subdivision 1.Authorization; rates.

Notwithstanding section 297A.99, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 13, or 477A.016, or any other law, the board of a county outside the metropolitan Previous transportation Next area, as defined under section 297A.992, subdivision 1... may by resolution of the county board, or each of the county boards, following a public hearing impose (1) a Previous transportation Next Previous sales Next Previous tax Next at a rate of up to one-half of one percent on retail Previous sales Next and uses taxable under this chapter...

[...]

Subd. 2.Allocation; termination.

The proceeds of the taxes must be dedicated exclusively to: (1) payment of the capital cost of a specific Previous transportation Next project or improvement; (2) payment of the costs, which may include both capital and operating costs, of a specific transit project or improvement; (3) payment of the capital costs of a safe routes to school program under section 174.40; or (4) payment of transit operating costs. The Previous transportation or transit project or improvement must be designated by the board of the county, or more than one county acting under a joint powers agreement. Except for taxes for operating costs of a transit project or improvement, or for transit operations, the taxes must terminate when revenues raised are sufficient to finance the project.
If I'm reading this correctly, any CTIB county can declare itself not part of CTIB anymore and impose up to a 1/2% sales tax for capital costs of a specific transportation project and/or for operating costs of transit. In the case of a capital project, the sales tax blinks off when enough revenue is generated to fund it.

Assuming Dakota isn't going to get much more transitway development under the current CTIB arrangement, it makes sense for them to leave and use part of their sales tax to contribute whatever percent of funding of the Red and Orange lines is required.

Hennepin and Ramsey counties are in a more difficult spot. If they leave CTIB they can impose a larger sales tax but they need to re-authorize one for every single capital project they do. I suppose they could declare an entire network of transit as a project. I don't know what's reasonable under the statute.
That's what they want you to think, but if you've been keeping up on this Dakota county has far worse motives besides "protecting the taxpayer". Dakota county wants to go full-bore on road expansion and pump roughly $1 billion more into new sprawly roads to nowhere but they can't openly spend the CTIB tax money on anything but transit. Getting out of the CTIB not only gets them off the hook of paying for any more transit investments it also allows them to replace that tax with something they have direct control over and at a higher amount, IE spend that money on roads instead of transit. Scott county is farther along in this process, and look at their list of projects; a few token transit investments and hundreds of millions of new expressways and widened roads to facilitate future sprawl that not even MNDOT would fund. If Dakota county leaves they may just cut funding for the Red and orange line to the limit of what's politically possible while they sure as shit won't bother to fund the Red Rock or Robert Street corridors in any meaningful way. Allowing the county sales tax to fund "transportation" (roads) was one of the dumbest political decisions the DFL ever made but hey they've never met a tax they didn't like. Now our regional cooperation that was the envy of the country is going to be torn apart by it piece by piece.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby David Greene » June 14th, 2016, 9:49 pm

Well of course they're going to spend most of it on roads. I don't think anyone here thought otherwise.

Presumably these won't be state-aid highways then if Mn/DOT doesn't want to fund them? So the county is entirely responsible for maintenance going forward? That would seem to be an important limiter on what they do.

They still need to impose the tax for each project, so I'm not sure it'll be as sprawly as you think.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby twincitizen » June 15th, 2016, 6:30 am

It's not so much each project, but a list of projects approved by the county board. In theory you could make a very long list and be guaranteed that tax revenue for decades. Hennepin & Ramsey would have no problem keeping a .5% tax going for decades to pay for Southwest, Bottineau, Riverview & Rush, not to mention highway BRT projects.

I don't think it will happen, but it certainly seems like the counties could blow up CTIB right now (well, three years) and then start collecting their own .5% tax. According to the law, Hennepin & Ramsey (or any group of counties) could form a new joint-powers agreement if they wanted to.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Mdcastle » June 15th, 2016, 7:19 am

Looking at Dakota County's list, they're all either on state trunk highways or county state aid highways the county wants to to become trunk highways (in this scenario it would be trade where the county would take some trunk highway that don't need expansion). Existing county state aid and trunk highway funding is nowhere near enough to pay for the kind of expansion Dakota County wants.

It doesn't surprise me that Dakota wants to leave. Hennepin, Ramsey, and Anoka County have gotten real rail service, and all Dakota has gotten are, no matter what fancy color you put on, nothing but some more buses. (Whatever happened to the Robert Street Streetcar anyway?) Washington hasn't gotten rail either, but they seem less eager than other counties to find a way to fund road expansion.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby mattaudio » June 15th, 2016, 8:43 am

So, why not just blow up CTIB right now and let the counties do their own thing?
Obviously Hennepin would be a winner on its own, since we contributed 55% but only got 33% of the money 2008-2013. That said, a Hennepin-Ramsey partnership would make sense.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby acs » June 15th, 2016, 9:01 am

That's so stupid, one look at the planned projects tells you it's not a good idea. Look at the upcoming big-ticket items for the CTIB: SWLRT-$1.8 billion all in Hennepin, Bottineau - $1.5 billion all in Hennepin, Orange line - $500m mostly in Hennepin, Riverview - Well north of $1b all in Ramsey and Hennepin, Rush Line - $1b all in Ramsey, aBRT network - $3-500m all in Hennepin and Ramsey, Gold line - $500m half in Ramsey Half in Washington, Red Rock trial - $20 m in Ramsey and Dakota, Highway BRT on 394, US-55, 169, I-94, I-35E north - $100m each all in Hennepin and Ramsey.

Get the point yet? All the upcoming spend is in Hennepin and Ramsey, there's no way you can look at the last 5 years and say Hennepin will come out a loser over the next 40. Plus blowing up the CTIB would allow the collar counties (and even Hennepin and Ramsey, in all likelihood) carte blanche to spend on super sprawl roads with money that would have gone to Transit under the CTIB. The fact that the CTIB restricts this is reason enough to keep it.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby QuietBlue » June 15th, 2016, 9:09 am

acs wrote:That's so stupid, one look at the planned projects tells you it's not a good idea.
Not a good idea for who, exactly?

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby acs » June 15th, 2016, 9:14 am

QuietBlue wrote:
acs wrote:That's so stupid, one look at the planned projects tells you it's not a good idea.
Not a good idea for who, exactly?
Not a good idea for Hennepin/Ramsey to "do their own thing", since the big spending is all going to fall in their areas. At least with the CTIB we get the collar counties to help pay for it (and the point Dakota county is making is actually valid, even if it's not their real reason for leaving).

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby QuietBlue » June 15th, 2016, 9:21 am

But you just showed that the collar counties are, for the most part, not going to see any of that transportation spending. So why shouldn't they leave if they're not getting enough out of it?

Also, "we" don't all live in the core cities on Hennepin/Ramsey county, either.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby David Greene » June 15th, 2016, 9:59 am

acs wrote:Not a good idea for Hennepin/Ramsey to "do their own thing", since the big spending is all going to fall in their areas. At least with the CTIB we get the collar counties to help pay for it (and the point Dakota county is making is actually valid, even if it's not their real reason for leaving).
Except counties can impose a larger sales tax outside of CTIB. Hennepin and Ramsey could see more transit money if they went their own way provided they actually allocated a good majority of the funds to transit, which I agree isn't a given.

I do agree that CTIB has a certain anti-sprawl mechanism that is useful. But if collar counties can leave anyway, I'm not sure how useful it really is.

Dakota county is leaving because they feel the arrangement isn't right for them. That's the "real" reason. Washington very nearly left a few years ago. I would not be surprised to see Anoka leave soon.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby Tcmetro » June 15th, 2016, 4:11 pm

This is the issue of regionalism. LA, SF, Seattle, Denver, etc have all had to make concessions to create more suburban orientated transit networks in order to ensure that enough funds can be raised in to even create a network.

Even if Hennepin and Ramsey go it alone, there's little to indicate that they will pursue a network that is better accommodating of an urban fabric. Both counties are immensely suburban, and would likely have less money to work with, consequentially they would value engineer transit projects more.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby acs » June 15th, 2016, 9:57 pm

David Greene wrote:
Except counties can impose a larger sales tax outside of CTIB. Hennepin and Ramsey could see more transit money if they went their own way provided they actually allocated a good majority of the funds to transit, which I agree isn't a given.
The CTIB says they need a .75 cent tax in 5 counties in order to build out the projects above, so how in the world do you make that happen with a .5 cent tax in just two counties? You don't. At best it would be enough to maintain the status quo and build out the projects already committed to, maybe. But to actually go beyond that you'd need much more than .5 cent in two counties available now in the state law and if you're going to change that then why not just pass a damn comprehensive package and increase the CTIB tax.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby David Greene » June 15th, 2016, 10:57 pm

Yes we need more money. No one disputes that. All I'm saying is 0.5% is greater than 0.25%, even without the collar counties. Blowing up CTIB doesn't preclude passing legislation to increase transit funding.

I'm not even advocating blowing up CTIB. But it's important to think about it given what's happened and what's likely coming.

As someone who was very involved in passing the CTIB legislation I can tell you that people weren't thrilled with the idea of CTIB for exactly the political reasons we've witnessed. When you get down to it it's an unnecessary body whose duties should fall to the Met Council. But the counties levy the tax so they want their say (and should get it). The Met Council needs reform too, which maybe includes giving it sales tax authority. That's a pipe dream right now but again, it's worth thinking about mechanisms to fill in for CTIB.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby twincitizen » June 16th, 2016, 12:51 pm

Blowback: http://www.startribune.com/dakota-count ... 383207211/

Interestingly, the Dakota County Board Chair opposes leaving CTIB. A vote by the full board is expected next week.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby David Greene » June 16th, 2016, 3:03 pm

God Matt Look is an ass.

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Re: Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB)

Postby QuietBlue » June 16th, 2016, 3:09 pm

Schouweiler's position doesn't surprise me; I imagine at least some of the commissioners who represent the northern portion of the county are going to be hesitant about leaving the CTIB. And even though it's not their decision, I think some of the city governments would be opposed to it too.


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