County Board approves additional 1/4-cent sales tax for transit development

County Board approves additional 1/4-cent sales tax for transit development

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners today voted to approve two actions that will advance transit and transportation projects in Ramsey County through a 1/4-cent sales tax increase.

First, the board voted to approve the dissolution of the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB). Since 2008, this joint powers board of Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties has collected a 1/4-cent (one penny per every four dollars spent) sales tax on most goods in services and a $20 excise tax per vehicle. These revenues have been used to fund the regional system of transitways, including the METRO Green and Blue light-rail lines as well as bus rapid transit, commuter rail and other transit improvements. The boards of each of the other member counties must also approve dissolution, and each are scheduled to vote within the next week. Pending dissolution, the current 1/4-cent sales tax and $20 excise tax will cease being collected by CTIB on September 30, 2017. 

Second, Ramsey County the board voted to begin collection of a 1/2-cent sales tax and to maintain the $20 excise tax in Ramsey County. Under existing Minnesota law, counties that do not participate in CTIB may collect up to 1/2-cent sales tax for prioritized transportation improvements (see list of counties). Beginning October 1, for every two dollars spent on most goods and services in Ramsey County, one penny will be collected for these identified priority improvements. This revenue will replace what has been collected by CTIB, as well as provide an offset for unreliable state matching funds towards transit projects.  

"Today's actions provide dedicated long-term funding for transitways that will connect people with jobs and activities in Ramsey County and throughout the region," said Commissioner Jim McDonough. "Following the success of the METRO Green Line, this is a strong reinforcement of our commitment to continue development of our highest priority projects for the East Metro transit network: Gold Line and Rush Line Bus Rapid Transit and the Riverview Corridor." 

Video of today's board meeting will be available the afternoon of Tuesday, June 13 at this link.

Board meeting materials for June 13 are available here:
CTIB dissolution | Transit Sales Tax

Today's action was preceded by a similar board vote taken on March 20, 2017, but that vote stipulated a March 31 dissolution date for CTIB which was not met. Each meeting followed a public hearing.

> Watch a video of the March 20 meeting

> Watch a video of the first public hearing (March 14)

> Watch a video of the second public hearing (June 6)

Contact: John Siqveland, Public Communications Director, 651-746-9250.

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