• Propose $11 billion for light rail, bridges, & bike paths
• Raise gas tax 16 cents, and more when gas prices rise
• Increase registration & license tab prices
($10 + 1.25% vehicle value)
• Increase metro sales tax for riderless transit projects & studies
(currently .25%, increased .5% to an additional .75% for transit)
• Penalize the Minneapolis Park Board over SW light rail
($1.6 billion cut in 2016 and in 2017)
• Hire Adam Duininck to head Metro Council & give job 236% raise
(Susan Haigh received $61,414. Duininck will make $145,000.)
Problems with Dayton's Plan
• Existing money is wasted on: Los Angeles vacations, free rides, the Met Council raise, and streetcar studies.
• Scare tactic of failing bridges.
• Bullying the Park Board by threatening to cut funding.
• Gas taxes and sales taxes (regressive taxes) hurt the poor far more than the wealthy.
• Raises taxes when Minnesota has a tax surplus.
There isn't enough money for transportation in the $71 billion budget, they say, but the Gateway Corridor committee had enough money to fly 30 to Los Angeles in June 2014 on a vacation tour. They are looking for more money this year. They want $3 million more to cover their next vacations.
Transit fares don't cover transit costs, but Metro Transit fares are often free.
Free rides at the airport.
Free rides on Nicollet Mall.
Free rides for Wild games.
Free rides for Gopher football.
Free rides for Minnesota Lynx.
Free rides for Minnesota Swarm.
Free rides for voting.
Free rides for the art fairs.
Free rides for the winter carnival.
Free rides for the Aquatennial.
Free rides to the children's museum.
Free rides to the Holidazzle village.
Free rides for the green line opening.
Free rides for the Surly beer hall opening.
Free rides for disabled veterans.
Free rides for St. Patrick's Day, New Years Day...
If fares weren't always free, more fares would be collected. When it's not free, the standard rush hour fare is $2.25 and non-rush hour is $1.75. In 2013, Metro Transit collected $91.59 million from 81.4 million riders or an average of $1.13 per rider. Money is there for the taking.
Husband of Dayton's chief of staff, Adam Duininck will head Metro Council. Because Duininck
And St. Paul's city council wants a streetcar for tourists. Other cities are tearing out their streetcars or spending $400,000 annually on streetcar insurance like Tampa, but St. Paul's council wants a streetcar to be “competitive.”
The scare tactic of failing bridges is the local version of 911 reminders.
In 2007, the 35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed, killing 13 people. In the years since, all Minnesota bridges have been inspected. The Lafayette Bridge (US52) over the Mississippi River is being replaced due to a similar design flaw and lack of redundancies.
The transportation bill press conference specifically mentioned the Kellogg-3rd Street bridge. It could be either repaired for less than $8 million or replaced for $40 million with transit upgrades added for streetcars, Gateway Corridor bus rapid transit, Rush line connection, bike paths, and a Saints ballpark scenic overlook.
The Kellogg-3rd Street bridge has 9,900 daily drivers on 4 lanes. It was over-built in 1982. The 2 lane Smith Avenue (High) bridge has 13,900 daily drivers. The Kellogg-3rd bridge needs repairs to be up to federal code (under $8 million), but Gateway Corridor bus transit wants it torn down and replaced for $40 million. Either the company working on the nearby Lafayette Bridge (Lunda Construction) or the company building the nearby Saints Ballpark (Ryan Companies) is probably in line to do the job.
Dayton Bullies Park Board
The Governor also wants to cut funding to the Minneapolis Park Board by $3.7 million (2016-17) in retaliation for slowing progress on the Southwest light rail project. Park Board president Liz Wielinski said the Board is obligated to protect park land and has raised its concerns about SW light rail for three years.
Gas and sales taxes are regressive taxes that impact the poor more than the wealthy. All of these taxes and added fees are hidden tax increases that don't show up on tax forms but add up. The Governor's staff estimates the average cost would be $294 annually per driver. More bullying by the Governor.
Minnesota charges a 28.5 cents a gallon gas tax, in addition to the federal 18.4 cents a gallon tax. The plan is to make to the state rate 6.5% with a base amount of 16 cents a gallon on the wholesale price of gas.
The additional transit sales tax currently at .25%, would be increased .5% to an additional .75% sales tax. Plus Carver and Scott counties would have to pay the metro transit sales tax rate.
Minnesota has a $1.3 billion surplus on a budget of $71 billion (2014-2015) but Gov. Dayton wants to raise taxes.
Minnesota Public Radio - toll bridge for the St. Croix River bridge at Bayport