Minnesota Transportation Funding (General)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
MNdible
is great.
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby MNdible » August 21st, 2015, 12:51 pm

trigonalmayhem wrote:I'm glad we've got Minnesota's number one cheerleader here to be as condescending as possible.
VAStationDude wrote:You clearly don't understand the Minnesota Miracle.
Per what the Dude says above, I really don't think you understand what the programs you're bitching about have done. If calling that out makes me condescending, so be it.

trigonalmayhem

Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby trigonalmayhem » August 21st, 2015, 1:04 pm

It's actually the manner in which you say things that makes you a condescending ass, not the content thereof. You're entitled to an opinion and so am I. I also question if you fully understand the impact of the programs in question. You see the good sides, which certainly exist and are laudable, while ignoring the negative impact on land use and development patterns they've had.

helsinki
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby helsinki » August 21st, 2015, 1:19 pm

EOst wrote: If you want expensive urban transit, don't complain on an urbanist forum or hassle planners at the Met Council, lobby Congress. They're the only ones who can really fund and make possible what people here want. This is what we get with the funding sources we have.
I'm not sure I agree with this.

Los Angeles County has raised taxes on itself 3 times in referenda (Proposition A in 1980, Proposition C in 1990, and Measure R in 2008), thereby raising tens of billions of dollars for transportation. The result? Since 1990, LA has built six urban rail lines, is currently building another, extending 3 more, and digging a second downtown subway tunnel. A further 1/2 cent tax increase may be on the ballot in 2016. And these things have to pass with a 2/3 majority! Some congressional appropriations have been committed to these projects, but the bulk of the financing has been locally generated.

I strongly agree with the Strong Towns premise that severing the link between payer and user distorts outcomes. Arguably, the LA sales tax increases have done this. At the same time, the LA experience really goes to show how the "feds have our hands tied, process, process, process" argument is a bit of a cop out.

EOst
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby EOst » August 21st, 2015, 1:31 pm

trigonalmayhem wrote:It's actually the manner in which you say things that makes you a condescending ass, not the content thereof. You're entitled to an opinion and so am I.
You have the right to be wrong, but people certainly have the right to call you on it.

EOst
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby EOst » August 21st, 2015, 1:37 pm

amiller92 wrote:Huh? The $77.4 million comes from sales and income taxes collected by the state. That's got to be way less (as it should be) than total sales and income taxes collected in Minneapolis.
Yes, but that's inevitable. Minneapolis residents do indeed contribute (much) more money to the state in sales and income taxes than the city receives from LGA, but those statewide income and sales taxes don't just fund Local Government Aid; they're 45% of the budget of the state government of Minnesota. You can't just "let cities keep their own taxes" without shutting down the state government.

If your argument is "cities should be allowed to raise their own sales and income taxes," that's fine, but it has nothing at all to do with LGA.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby RailBaronYarr » August 21st, 2015, 1:39 pm

What helsinki said. We could look at France or Germany and while they charge drivers out the nose in gas taxes & tolls, the revenue isn't even dedicated to transportation (well, toll revenue usually pays out to private firms who manage the toll infrastructure). They've got some better (or, more neutral, "less restrictive") land use regulations, sure. But they just prioritize things differently than we do here, still using large regional, but moreso federal, pots of money. They're able to get better transit service because their regional operators use better management tactics, not necessarily because individual cities or county-equivalents fund and build their own lines.

I'm not sure the Met Council/Minnesota Miracle can really be held up as a great or terrible example of regional governance. There's too much evidence on both sides, and it all depends on what your goals/priorities are.

But, this Gold Line, huh?

EOst
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby EOst » August 21st, 2015, 1:54 pm

I don't know if MSP should be a model worldwide or not, but compared to other US metros (and especially other Midwestern ones), is there really any doubt? Not having a regional government and LGA didn't keep St. Louis or Detroit or Cleveland or Milwaukee from building miles and miles of sprawl, but it did lead to a vicious cycle of declining tax bases necessitating cuts to city services. Most cities in the Midwest are still trying to break out of that trap, even the apparently successful ones (like Chicago).

trigonalmayhem

Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby trigonalmayhem » August 21st, 2015, 1:55 pm

EOst wrote:
trigonalmayhem wrote:It's actually the manner in which you say things that makes you a condescending ass, not the content thereof. You're entitled to an opinion and so am I.
You have the right to be wrong, but people certainly have the right to call you on it.
What exactly is factually wrong about an opinion on a contentious issue? This kind of absolutism is antithetical to an actual discussion. I haven't seen anything presented by you or him that constitutes anything other than opinion just like mine. Certainly nothing that rises to the level of absolute evidence. I will listen to and even change my mind based on facts and logic if it's presented in a convincing manner. Saying someone is wrong without proving why is a lazy cop out.

trigonalmayhem

Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby trigonalmayhem » August 21st, 2015, 2:00 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:What helsinki said. We could look at France or Germany and while they charge drivers out the nose in gas taxes & tolls, the revenue isn't even dedicated to transportation (well, toll revenue usually pays out to private firms who manage the toll infrastructure). They've got some better (or, more neutral, "less restrictive") land use regulations, sure. But they just prioritize things differently than we do here, still using large regional, but moreso federal, pots of money. They're able to get better transit service because their regional operators use better management tactics, not necessarily because individual cities or county-equivalents fund and build their own lines.

I'm not sure the Met Council/Minnesota Miracle can really be held up as a great or terrible example of regional governance. There's too much evidence on both sides, and it all depends on what your goals/priorities are.

But, this Gold Line, huh?
OK see this is a reasonable point. It's not necessarily the fault of the system but rather the way in which it's used. But if the system is currently and for the foreseeable future going to be used in a way that provides a very unbalanced set of benefits and costs to different parts of the region, we have no business sticking with that system. I'd love to reform it instead of throwing it away, but I don't see that being something likely to happen. Hence my opinions on this.

amiller92
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby amiller92 » August 21st, 2015, 2:01 pm

EOst wrote:If your argument is "cities should be allowed to raise their own sales and income taxes," that's fine, but it has nothing at all to do with LGA.
It has everything to do with LGA. The fact that cities cannot levy their own sales and incomes taxes is the entire reason for LGA. They would not need LGA if they had that power and they are given LGA in lieu of having that power.

trigonalmayhem

Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby trigonalmayhem » August 21st, 2015, 2:13 pm

Hell we could even keep LGA for the poorer areas and let the city tax itself. I don't want to throw the rest of the state under the bus, but the current system is about as far from fair as you can get. If all politics is local, why do we lack any control whatsoever at the local level?

David Greene
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby David Greene » August 21st, 2015, 2:13 pm

EOst wrote:Image
Aw man, a scroll Orthophonic. You saddened my day.

VAStationDude
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby VAStationDude » August 21st, 2015, 2:29 pm

I agree L.A. is building a fantastic urban rail network. I'm not convinced it implementing a similar funding system here would be successful. L.A. County is massive and dense. There are very few low density developable parts not separated from the city of Los Angles by mountains.

The dense part of our region is puny in comparison. A 2.0% sales tax in Minneapolis and Saint Paul dedicated to building trigonal's freshman year geography class fantasy system would put the central cities at a big disadvantage relative to the burbs. Los Angeles County isn't impacted negatively because businesses and residents don't have other options. There are no flat valleys adjacent to the Pacific ocean sitting undeveloped next to L.A. Minneapolis, relative to Los Angeles County, has very little to offer adjacent locales can not.

Can you point to a state and regional governance model we should be emulating, Trigonal? I don't think a local income tax would be effective since people can simply move to escape the tax (see Philadelphia). Collecting tax at a state level and redistributing a portion to even out some of the disparities created by suburbanization has worked pretty dang well. In 1960 Milwaukee and Indianapolis were bigger than our region. Minneapolis is a much bigger and much much better than those peer regions. Obviously, Minneapolis and Saint Paul got shafted by suburbanizaton but we've faired better than all other large Midwestern cities.

EOst
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby EOst » August 21st, 2015, 2:30 pm

trigonalmayhem wrote:Saying someone is wrong without proving why is a lazy cop out.
So is not substantively responding to arguments made against you, but hey, you seem fine with it. 8^)
amiller92 wrote:It has everything to do with LGA. The fact that cities cannot levy their own sales and incomes taxes is the entire reason for LGA. They would not need LGA if they had that power and they are given LGA in lieu of having that power.
No, it isn't, and this really demonstrates that you don't understand the point of LGA. If Minneapolis has to fill its budget by raising taxes, and St. Louis Park doesn't, it encourages businesses to relocate to St. Louis Park. This isn't a theoretical thing; you can very clearly see how this happened in other cities. My favorite is Clayton, MO, a tiny (2.5 square mile) suburb right on the border with the City of St. Louis, which is the headquarters of a number of large corporations almost entirely because it acts as a tax haven.

amiller92
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby amiller92 » August 21st, 2015, 2:48 pm

EOst wrote:No, it isn't, and this really demonstrates that you don't understand the point of LGA. If Minneapolis has to fill its budget by raising taxes, and St. Louis Park doesn't, it encourages businesses to relocate to St. Louis Park. This isn't a theoretical thing; you can very clearly see how this happened in other cities. My favorite is Clayton, MO, a tiny (2.5 square mile) suburb right on the border with the City of St. Louis, which is the headquarters of a number of large corporations almost entirely because it acts as a tax haven.
Clearly someone doesn't understand something.

You're using a the rational for regional cooperation, which is valid, to explain the LGA system. The things are related but not the same.

trigonalmayhem

Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby trigonalmayhem » August 21st, 2015, 3:05 pm

Saying the LGA system is doing a great job evening out regional disparities caused by suburbanization and then pointing to Minneapolis, which gets screwed by the system in its current form, as a shining symbol of the success of it is ... I don't even know. If even allowing Minneapolis to tax itself above and beyond what is already paying to prop up the suburbs is somehow going to make all the businesses flee to those suburbs ... what's the harm to anyone other than Minneapolis in letting them try it? There is a certain amount of getting what you pay for, and cheaper often isn't better. Golden Valley is currently in the process of learning this lesson, but we'll probably find some way to reallocate money to save their asses paid for by places that don't play shell games like they do. Businesses and residents are all too happy to pay a premium to be in central cities all over the world because there are economies of scale and sunk costs in place that make them worth the additional cost, even in sprawling nowheres like Dallas. It's easier to attract and maintain talented workers with a central location. Many businesses find this to be an acceptable trade off to the increased cost of locating their offices there given the very real cost of finding qualified employees for skilled work.

trigonalmayhem

Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby trigonalmayhem » August 21st, 2015, 3:07 pm

Oh and I don't see how pointing out the flaws in the current system magically puts the onus on me to find a better one. But starting off by allowing local municipalities to levy their own sales taxes without being told what to do with it by the state is a start.

helsinki
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby helsinki » August 21st, 2015, 3:54 pm

VAStationDude wrote:A 2.0% sales tax in Minneapolis and Saint Paul dedicated to building trigonal's freshman year geography class fantasy system would put the central cities at a big disadvantage relative to the burbs.
A few quibbles:

A 2% sales tax increase in the core cities alone would be mad. But the analogy is incorrect.

First, what LA County has done is phase in 1/2 cent sales taxes via referendum. Not percentage. Second, the appropriately analogous entities are Hennepin and Ramsey counties, not the core cities alone. I think if these two counties chose to levy a fraction of a cent tax devoted exclusively to public transportation within those counties, not only would the inter-municipal tax race to the bottom prove ephemeral (if it happened at all) but the outcomes from a transit design perspective would be superior in every respect to the garbage that the current system is generating.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby seanrichardryan » August 21st, 2015, 3:56 pm

David Greene wrote:
EOst wrote:Image
Aw man, a scroll Orthophonic. You saddened my day.
Hey David, I've got a fab old Brunswick case Phonograph I'd like to unload, with lots of records. Any interest?
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

HiawathaGuy
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby HiawathaGuy » August 21st, 2015, 4:04 pm

Let's take all the non Gold Line chatter to Anything Goes or someplace else.

Image


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