New Taxes Means Better Transit
On October 1 you – and everyone in the Twin Cities – started paying a new ¾-percent sales tax. It’s not a lot of money, 75 cents on a $100 purchase, but it adds up. Where’s going? Will it do you any good?
Hello, my name is Will Schroeer. I’m the Executive Director of a group called East Metro Strong. We got our name because people in the East Metro – the eastern half of the Twin Cities – didn’t have enough affordable, reliable, healthy ways to get around. So, we work with residents, governments, and providers like Metro Transit to make it easier to get around affordably. We work with people around the Cities who want better transportation, not just the East Metro!
I helped launch Evie Carshare. I hope you’ve seen the green and white cars around Powderhorn. We partnered with the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association to help people understand how to use Evie Carshare, and why it’s a great option for getting around.
Out of that partnership, your dedicated staff invited me to talk with you about this new tax you’re paying, and how you can tell decision-makers how they should spend it to improve your family’s life.
I’m going to write a couple of blogs to tell you about the new tax, and how you can tell decision-makers what you need from this money. Here’s the first blog. Have questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
On October 1 you started paying a new ¾-percent sales tax. The state legislature passed this tax this spring, and it just took effect.
The legislature’s goal is to fund better transportation options. The tax will produce about $433 million in 2024. What are we getting for that?
Most of that new money (83%) will go to fund transit – buses and light rail.
Much of that will go to pay to run the bus and rail lines we have. Before this, Metro Transit had a deficit, which this funding will fill.
Some money will go to improve what we have by improving frequency, reliability, and comfort: your bus will come more often, it will be newer, and you’ll have a shelter to wait in.
The rest of the money will go to make it easier to bike and walk.
The goal of this money is to make it possible for you to get around – to get to work, to school, to see your family – affordably and reliably.
Staff at Metro Transit and Hennepin County will be deciding how to spend this money. We’ll talk about that process in the next blog.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more, you can check out these resources.
Star Tribune coverage:
Met Council discussion: Metro Area Transportation Sales and Use Tax