The St. Louis County Council gave final approval on July 12 for the annual Bi-State Development appropriation for FY23 to ensure public transit continues to provide access in St. Louis County. At its June 28 meeting, they perfected Bill 176 which supports current operations as well as the future expansion of transit.
The council voted 4-2 on Bill 176 to give final approval for annual funding to Bi-State Development Agency, with the support of Chairwoman Days, Councilwoman Dunaway, Councilwoman Webb and Councilwoman Clancy.
During this process, a substitute bill (180) had been introduced, which significantly changed 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 (Bill 180) called 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 have resulted in just $13.4 million from the 1974 transportation tax being allocated for transit with the remainder from the Prop. A fund (98% of the revenues). This substitute bill was voted down at the June 28 meeting.
Below is the breakdown of funding for the FY23 appropriation included in Bill 176:
1974 sales tax: $44,449,809
Prop A: $68,433,676
Prop M: $52,629,500
“Kudos to the St. Louis County Council for ensuring current transit operations, as well as future operations and expansion per St. Louis County voters,” said Kim Cella, CMT Executive Director. “Bill 176 not only supports the current operations of transit in St. Louis County but the future expansion of transit especially in North County which is closer than it has been in decades with a regional approach to the Northside-Southside corridor.”