Twin Cities mayors driving push to boost transit through sales tax hike


In a year when the governor and the whole state legislature is up for re-election, who will lead a campaign to raise the Twin Cities sales tax to fund transit improvements?

How about a pair of mayors who just locked up their own four-year terms?

The Pioneer Press reports St. Paul's Chris Coleman and Minneapolis' Betsy Hodges made the pitch to business professionals Wednesday at an appearance before both cities' chambers of commerce.

The mayors, the newspaper reports, argued for transit upgrades, saying that cities are competing for talented young workers who increasingly want to live without cars.

The Star Tribune says Hodges posited a question she says strikes at the heart of her goal to raise Minneapolis' population by 100,000: “One of the core pieces of that is ‘Do we have the kind of transit and transportation network that allows people to live without a car?’”

The mayors also pointed to business development sprouting along transit networks, particularly the 100 construction projects the Metropolitan Council says have started along the Central Corridor light rail line slated to open this summer.

Both cities are looking beyond the opening of the Green Line, as it will be called, toward additional light rail, bus rapid transit, and development of streetcar lines.

Gaining political support for a region-wide half-cent sales tax increase to help pay for such projects promises to be a challenge. When Gov. Mark Dayton made the same proposal in 2012 it was approved by the state Senate but rejected by the House, whose members are elected in all even-numbered years. Coleman and Hodges, conversely, have only just started their new terms after winning November elections.

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.


Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.


Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.