Thinking outside the box on transit financing

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miz.jordan17
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Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by miz.jordan17 »

Just creating this to spitball on creative public-private financing ideas for transit.

In the current political environment, it's difficult to rely on funding from the federal and state governments. It might be worthwhile to seriously consider how we can leverage relationships between the city and the private sector to bring some of our ideas to fruition. At the end of the day, the city needs the private sector, and the private sector needs the city. I'm not a big supporter of the idea that everything should be privatized, but I think of it rather as removing friction and letting those who are in a better position to help, help. Below are just two examples of how this could work/look:

1. Conditional tax incentives- to receive TIF, business or developer agree to pay into a fund for new transit development (like PILOTs, but for transit)

2. Transit spending by business, increased secondary education funding by city- businesses want an educated workforce, so position it as the businesses pouring money into transit so people have more access to jobs and education, while the city increasing funding to attract educational institutions. This could look like a city (or bi-state) org that operates as an endowment fund that gives grants to these institutions for being in the metro. If an NGO, cities could allocate funds to it possibly.


Ultimately, it might be easier for the government to allocate money toward something like secondary education if something that might be more divisive like transit could be funded (even if just in part) by the private sector.

What are your thoughts and ideas?

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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by flyingember »

Piggyback funding on something that encourages car use.

1. Remove parking minimums citywide. Let the market decide what to build instead

2. Add a $50 per year tax per rented apartment spot and $100 per commercial or business spot. Businesses may still want their own parking but they'll be interested in less excess. It encourages renting spaces after hours and a glut of newly available spots in some areas will bring parking rates down discouraging building more with each project

With potentially 1 million parking spots in KC that meet this standard that could be $75-85 million per year in income for transit.

dnweava
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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by dnweava »

flyingember wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:03 pm
Piggyback funding on something that encourages car use.

1. Remove parking minimums citywide. Let the market decide what to build instead

2. Add a $50 per year tax per rented apartment spot and $100 per commercial or business spot. Businesses may still want their own parking but they'll be interested in less excess. It encourages renting spaces after hours and a glut of newly available spots in some areas will bring parking rates down discouraging building more with each project

With potentially 1 million parking spots in KC that meet this standard that could be $75-85 million per year in income for transit.
I read recently that the US has 8 parking spots per car (I don't know if that number includes streetparking or single family driveways). I'm sure KC is above the average. I would expect KC to have 4+ million parking spots.

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DaveKCMO
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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by DaveKCMO »

Sure, I suppose we could continue piecemealing our way to a disjointed system but my money is on a bi-state sales tax that has a 10+ year sunset. TIFs come and go and the private sector hasn't been forthcoming at all.

Increasing the cost of driving is needed, but shouldn't be the only source of funding and comes with its own political challenges (just look at progressive KCMO still giving away most on-street parking, underpricing garages, and subsidizing new capacity despite repeated studies and audits showing and over-supply).

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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by ToDactivist »

my two bits from a career in natural resources....the gas tax is a perfect use tax as long as the stick/carrot in turn is used to facilitate new modes of transit (in addition to fixing roads, buses, etc) and today we are in an era where tech offers news solutions. Next level battery tech has given us viable bike alternatives especially in hilly KC. Ubiquity of connectivity gives us alt modes of longer routes like ride-sharing, etc. Soooo....RAISE GAS TAXES. Yep, significantly too. Compensation drive behavior and those that chose to live out in the country and commute either should tele-commute or pay up. Oil is not infinite either and while less than 50% of a barrel is used for transportation what are we going to do in 100-300 years when it is gone and still need the other 50% for drugs, plastics, clothes, on and on? Am sure tech fills some gaps there, and the slow depletion/rising cost will cause migration but why wait? Even $0.25/gal added would be a huge, useful windfall to fund smarter solutions.

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beautyfromashes
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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by beautyfromashes »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:07 pm
...my money is on a bi-state sales tax that has a 10+ year sunset.
Are you suggesting a new sales tax (we’re already getting very high) or consolidation of our current transportation tax with other municipalities?

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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by DaveKCMO »

beautyfromashes wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:27 pm
DaveKCMO wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:07 pm
...my money is on a bi-state sales tax that has a 10+ year sunset.
Are you suggesting a new sales tax (we’re already getting very high) or consolidation of our current transportation tax with other municipalities?
New, but in KCMO it should replace the 3/8-cent sales tax that sunsets in 2024. In that case, we would need sales taxes approved in Jackson, Clay and Platte at that level or higher to ensure the same level of service exists today.

We're getting high because of all of these special districts. That stuff needs to stop.

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beautyfromashes
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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by beautyfromashes »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:52 pm
New, but in KCMO it should replace the 3/8-cent sales tax that sunsets in 2024. In that case, we would need sales taxes approved in Jackson, Clay and Platte at that level or higher to ensure the same level of service exists today.

We're getting high because of all of these special districts. That stuff needs to stop.
Aren’t we only 1/2 cent from the state mandated maximum? I thought I remember that and James’ Pre-K plan was going to take that to max us out.

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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by normalthings »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:52 pm
beautyfromashes wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:27 pm
DaveKCMO wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:07 pm
...my money is on a bi-state sales tax that has a 10+ year sunset.
Are you suggesting a new sales tax (we’re already getting very high) or consolidation of our current transportation tax with other municipalities?
New, but in KCMO it should replace the 3/8-cent sales tax that sunsets in 2024. In that case, we would need sales taxes approved in Jackson, Clay and Platte at that level or higher to ensure the same level of service exists today.

We're getting high because of all of these special districts. That stuff needs to stop.
I guess I am a little confused. Are you saying we need 3 counties including KCMO to raise a 3/8th cent sales tax just to maintain the los that KCMO’s current 3/8th tax funds?

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beautyfromashes
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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by beautyfromashes »

normalthings wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:45 pm
I guess I am a little confused. Are you saying we need 3 counties including KCMO to raise a 3/8th cent sales tax just to maintain the los that KCMO’s current 3/8th tax funds?
Talking about setting up a regional transportation fund with the other counties matching our current 3/8ths and renewing ours since it due to expire.

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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by flyingember »

beautyfromashes wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:48 pm
normalthings wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:45 pm
I guess I am a little confused. Are you saying we need 3 counties including KCMO to raise a 3/8th cent sales tax just to maintain the los that KCMO’s current 3/8th tax funds?
Talking about setting up a regional transportation fund with the other counties matching our current 3/8ths and renewing ours since it due to expire.
The 3/8 KCATA tax expires in 2024
The 1/2 general transportation tax expires in 2040

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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by DaveKCMO »

flyingember wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:33 am
The 1/2 general transportation tax expires in 2040
The legislature eliminated the sunset on this tax. It's forever now, unless the legislature repeals it.

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normalthings
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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by normalthings »

How will the new stimulus bill effect transit funding for us? Will we see any of the money? It is my understanding anything recieved is for operations and that we won’t be seeing any sorts of cap-Ex stimulus ala 2008.
Last edited by normalthings on Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by DaveKCMO »

normalthings wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:32 pm
How will the new stimulus bill effect transit funding for us? Will we see any of the money? It is my understanding anything recurved is for operations and that we won’t be seeing any sorts of cap-Ex stimulus ala 2008.
$25 billion nationwide, distributed through existing formula grant programs (but can be flexed for operations -- which is highly unusual, but absolutely necessary). Formula funds for urban areas are typically for capital uses only.

https://www.rollcall.com/2020/03/25/dev ... s-package/

Almost every agency experienced pressure and eventually took action to increase cleaning protocols, procure PPE, reduce passenger loads to encourage social distancing, and eliminate fare collection -- all at great operational expense.

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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by langosta »

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/pol ... 094399002/

Would Kansas City pursue additional streetcar/rail lines if the upcoming $2 trillion infrastructure bill passes?

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normalthings
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Re: Thinking outside the box on transit financing

Post by normalthings »

langosta wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:03 pm
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/pol ... 094399002/

Would Kansas City pursue additional streetcar/rail lines if the upcoming $2 trillion infrastructure bill passes?
I could be wrong but I think that the UMKC line is likely to get funded from the already appropriated transit funds. However, you probably would want to get that project guaranteed funding from any stimulus bill first. Aside from main street extension, any additional projects come down to the level of funding that DC will provide. 50% TDD - 50% Federal match isn't going to work anymore so we would either need to see (1) much higher federal match (2) more regionalized funding. IMHO, we should pursue additional rail projects if the feds bring out the wallet.

The 2009 stimulus plan only allotted maybe $10billion of $800billion to public transit (about a third if what highways received). Hopefully, we can get something closer to the $300 billion+ range (ala Obama's 2014 plan) but I am not holding my breath.

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