Minnesota Transportation Funding Redistribution (2010-2015): Who Contributes More and Who Receives More?


Jerry Zhao, Adeel Lari, Camila Fonseca

March 2018

Report no. TPEC 2018-01

The focus of this analysis is the redistribution of transportation funding across Minnesota. Transportation funding comes from all levels of government - the federal government, the state government, and local governments that include counties, cities, and townships. The redistribution of transportation funding arises the following questions: What areas contribute the most to transportation funding? What areas receive more funding? What areas contribute more than what they receive? Or verse versa. This report aims to answer these empirical questions with the purpose of facilitating informed decision making. In this report, we aggregate or allocate data to the county level for analysis and then present the aggregated results at the district level for a six-year period, between 2010 and 2015. We found that local governments fund a huge proportion of the transportation infrastructure in Minnesota, primarily through the property taxes they collect. The Twin Cities metro district contributes slightly more than what it receives. In addition, this district receives the largest share of funding for transit services. Districts in Greater Minnesota receive more funding that they contribute, mainly due to lower population density. Finally, we found a cost of 7 cents per vehicle mile traveled in the state. This cost tends to be much higher in counties located in the north.

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