The St. Louis County Council is currently looking at the annual Bi-State Development appropriation to ensure public transit continues to provide access in St. Louis County. During this process, a substitute bill has been introduced, which significantly changes the ratio of funding for public transit via the 1974 transportation sales tax.
The Bi-State Development appropriation request for FY23 is $169.5 million. Historically this appropriation is funded through a combination of funding sources, including Prop M quarter-cent sales tax, Prop A half-cent sales tax and the 1974 transportation sales tax, which is split 50:50 between transit and roads. The proposed substitution bill calls for a reduction in the ratio of transit funding through the 1974 transportation sales tax – taking it from 50:50 down to 13:87. This significant decrease would result in just $13.4 million from the 1974 transportation tax being allocated for transit.
“It is imperative St. Louis County be prepared to ensure current transit operations, as well as future operations and expansion per St. Louis County voters,” said Kim Cella, CMT Executive Director. “This policy shift of allowing this diversion of funds from transit takes away possible funding for any future capital or operating needs for public transit in St. Louis County. The future expansion of transit especially in North County is closer than it has been in decades with a regional approach to the Northside-Southside corridor. It is imperative this substitute bill does not become reality.”
Every dollar counts. This policy shift diverts available funding for current and future capital and operating needs and impacts the dollar amount that could be drawn down via federal funding.
Citizens for Modern Transit is urging its members and transit riders in St. Louis County to reach out to Council members to urge them to support the original appropriations bill – by investing 50 percent of the 1974 transportation tax revenues just like it’s been doing for decades.
Click here to access a list of current County Council members. Simply click on their respective photos to gain access each individual’s phone number, email and mailing address.
Thank you in advance for your help. This funding is absolutely imperative to the future of transit in this region.