Posts Tagged ‘taxes’

A Higher Sales Tax for Trains?

Written by Jeff Johnson on February 17th, 2013. Posted in General

Board supports Dayton’s transit tax increase

The county board voted 6 – 1 this week to support Governor Dayton’s proposed 1/4 percent dedicated metro sales tax increase to further fund light rail, streetcar and bus systems in the seven-county metro area.  I was the “no” vote.

I have long questioned the wisdom and return on investment of light rail and commuter rail projects in the Twin Cities and believe it would be beneficial to the residents of Hennepin County if others on the board occasionally questioned their ROI, as well.  That’s not to say that I would never support a rail project, but rather would need to be convinced that the congestion relief it would provide would be even remotely commensurate with the tremendous price tag attached to the project – both to build it and to heavily subsidize its operation year after year.  But that’s a different blog posting…

Isn’t it Time for a New Tax in Hennepin County?

Written by Jeff Johnson on July 13th, 2011. Posted in General

Yesterday, the Board heard a resolution for a new “Wheelage Tax” on all county taxpayers, consisting of a $5 annual fee on every automobile in the county.  We postponed a vote on the proposal until next Tuesday’s board meeting.

I stated yesterday at our meeting that I am enthusiastically opposed to this proposal.  The argument for the new tax is that it will bring in an extra $4 million per year, which we need in order to keep our county roads and bridges in decent repair.  Hennepin County has an annual budget of $1.56 BILLION.  If the upkeep of our roads and bridges has become such a low priority that we cannot even find enough in a $1.56 billion budget to keep them in decent condition, then we need to sit down and reprioritize our spending because something is royally messed up.

I don’t know what the debate or vote will reveal next week.  Stay tuned…