Plymouth Looks to Recoup Transit Tax Dollars
Maple Grove and Plymouth are looking for help from the state legislature. Those cities want tax dollars collected by Hennepin County for transit to be redirected to their cities for road and bridge repairs.
“In 2017, the state legislature allowed Hennepin County to collect a half cent sales tax for transit use,” said Plymouth Mayor Kelli Slavik. “There isn’t any transit coming through Plymouth or Maple Grove. And so they’re collecting $125 million annually in this tax. We would really like to see some investment in roads and bridges.”
Plymouth Mayor Kelli Slavik says Plymouth and Maple Grove contribute 12 percent of the $125 million in tax dollars Hennepin County collects for transit. But Slavik says Plymouth gets little return on the investment.
She points to County Road 47. It’s a two-lane road in a growing segment of the city that could use upgrades.
Slavik also referenced the need to reconstruct the bridge on Rockford Road over Interstate 494, which is the site of about 33 car crashes per year.
State Representatives Sarah Anderson and Dennis Smith have introduced a bill that would help Plymouth and Maple Grove collect 50 percent of the tax they pay to come back to their communities.
“It hasn’t been done before and honestly, this is not an approach I would normally take,” said Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth. “But given the fact that the cities have been working with the county for years and still have not gotten what I would say is addressing this problem. This is kind of the last resort. Okay, we want to send the message of this is important. This is about public safety, and it’s a regional need.”
If the bill is approved by the state legislature, the cities would collect their tax revenue from Hennepin County until 2038.