So it took me two weeks to mention it, but there's an interesting little nugget buried in a recent Star Tribune article concerning potential transportation plans for the state in 2013. The "she" referenced here is Katharine Tinucci, who serves as a spokeswoman for Gov. Dayton:
She focused mostly on greater use of the metro sales tax to finance transit.
"It helps take the transit system funding out of the state general fund and allows us to really operate it without going back to the Legislature and competing with other needs," Haigh told other Met Council members.
She noted that the recommendations call for having the state fund 37 percent of bus and light-rail transit operations instead of its current 61 percent.
Fares would continue to pay for about 28 percent of bus and light-rail transit, with regional governments paying for the rest.
Emphasis mine. Of course, the convenient little fiction is that regional governments are "paying" this cost. They aren't, of course. The taxpayers are. And with plans afoot for at least two more LRT lines in the next ten years, that number isn't going to decrease.
And remember what the topline number is, which actually is the lede:
Higher local sales taxes, gas taxes and vehicle fees are being pushed by Gov. Mark Dayton's task force on transportation and could help shape the debate on highway and transit funding as DFLers take control of the Legislature next year.
The draft recommendations call for raising taxes by $20 billion over 20 years and for shifting transit funding from the state to metro governments.
$20 billion is a lot of cash. We have to pay attention to this stuff, folks. (H/T Speed Gibson)
Cross-posted and comments welcome at Mr. Dilettante's Neighborhood