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Humphrey School panel to look at transit study and proposed tax increase

Transit leaders will discuss recent studies and proposed legislation during the Thursday afternoon event.

A panel of transit experts will discuss recent studies and proposed legislation during a Thursday panel at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School.

Gov.Mark Dayton is proposing a half-cent transit tax increase in the metro area to pay for transit, following a study last year that shows transit investments could bring a large return over time.

The panel discussion, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Humphrey School’s Cowles Auditorium, will feature Rep. Frank Hornstein, chair of the House Transportation Finance Committee, and Sue Haigh, chair of the Metropolitan Council.

 Lee Munnich, director of the State and Local Policy Program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, will moderate.

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Organizers say the study that led to the legislation shows:

  • Building and operating a regional transit system for 2030 would cost $4.3 billion and provide a return on investment worth between $6.5 and $13.9 billion
  • New revenue is needed for increased investment in regional transit, and a half-percent regional sales tax would support it
  • Statewide, a bipartisan panel of public/private stakeholders recommends making the investment
  • Minnesota voters support such a tax, both statewide and in the metro area.