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					                     REQUEST FOR RAMSEY COUNTY BOARD ACTION




Type   of Agenda:                  Policy                            Consent                                     Public Hearing
                                   Administrative                    Information                                 Ordinance



Requesting Department: Public Works

Committee:                                                                                      Meeting Date:
Committee:                                                                                      Meeting Date:

County - ide Ramifications
       W                                                                                        Board Meeting Date: 7/ 16/ 13
     or

Affected Commissioner District(s) #:                                                            Board Meeting Date:



SUBJECT Enactment of County Wheelage Tax

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Ramsey County operates and maintains a 295 mile network of County Roads and County State Aid
Highways that is critical to the local and regional economy, and provides safe, convenient transportation
options for County citizens. The network includes 91 bridges, 325 traffic signals, over 30,000 signs,
more than 9, 000 drainage structures and extensive water resource treatment systems. This transportation
system      represents     one   of   the   County's   largest   assets,    with    an   estimated value     exceeding $ 1 billion.

However, State transportation funding has not kept pace with the needs of the system and current
                           inadequate to      support proactive management of                these   vital assets.   Road pavement
funding     levels   are

conditions and related transportation elements continue to deteriorate, affecting all aspects of the
transportation system,including safety, maintenance and operations. Motorists pay a direct cost in the
form of increased costs to operate and maintain their vehicles.


 The Executive Summary is continued on the following page)



ACTION REQUESTED

                                                                                                          of $10. 00   per registered
1.        Authorize   and    impose     a Ramsey County wheelage tax, in the amount
          vehicle, as authorized       by Minn. Stat. § 163. 051, effective January 1, 2014.

2.        Direct the Ramsey County Manager to certify the tax to the State Registrar of Motor Vehicles
          before August 1, 2013.


3.        Direct the Ramsey County Manager to prepare an annual report to citizens and the County Board
                                 work completed with wheelage              tax   proceeds.
          summarizing the
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY (Continued)


In 1971, the Minnesota Legislature provided an additional funding alternative to the seven Twin Cities
Metro counties, authorizing each the option to impose a $ 5 per vehicle wheelage tax. A wheelage tax is
a user fee applied as a surcharge to license registration fees collected when vehicle tabs are issued or
renewed. Currently the Counties of Anoka, Washington, Dakota, Scott and Carver collect the tax. While
statewide transportation funding sources continue to fall short of existing needs, a wheelage tax imposed
at the local level goes directly into transportation needs of the area for which the tax is collected. During
the 2013   session   the Legislature       amended   Minn. Stat. §   163. 051, to permit all 87 counties in the state to
impose a wheelage tax in the amount of $10. 00, beginning January 1, 2014. The statute further provides
that, beginning in 2018, counties may levy a wheelage tax of up to $20.00, in even dollar increments, for
that and subsequent years.


The Ramsey County Board held two workshops in 2013 to better understand transportation system
needs, within the context of current funding sources, and how potential imposition of a wheelage tax
could help backfill current funding shortfalls. The first workshop was held on April 16, 2013, and
covered the broader discussion of system needs, funding challenges and potential funding options,
including the wheelage tax. The second workshop was held on June 11, 2013, and focused specifically
on how a wheelage tax could provide a critical funding supplement to address critical system
deficiencies with the current backlog of deteriorated pavements serving to illustrate the scope of current
program deficits.


The law provides that the proceeds from a wheelage tax must be deposited in the county's road and
bridge fund. Based on the number of registered vehicles in Ramsey County, exempting those identified
                                                                fees, it is               that   a $   10 wheelage tax would
                   accounting for    nominal administrative                   estimated
by   statute and

generate proceeds of approximately $3. 8 million per year for local transportation needs.

The Public Works Department has identified a full range of ongoing transportation system needs,
including pavement deficiencies, safety problems, congestion/ capacity issues, outdated signal systems,
aging bridges and minor structures, and deteriorated drainage systems. Perhaps the most apparent to the
average user is the continued deterioration of road pavement conditions. The Department has identified
58 miles of roadway which meet technical criteria for pavement replacement or rehabilitation,
representing $ 26 million in deferred maintenance. It is anticipated that proceeds from a wheelage tax, if
imposed, would be used to fund major pavement maintenance projects for the next several years.
Prioritization of projects would be completed as part of the County' s five year Transportation
Improvement Program ( TIP),          revised and submitted to the Board for approval during the spring of each
year. An annual stand alone report to citizens and the Board will be prepared, summarizing the work
completed with      the   wheelage   tax   proceeds.
SUBJECT: Enactment of County Wheelage Tax

INWKT*ICIUI04a&1;


None


PREVIOUS ACTION:


   County Board workshop on April 16, 2013
   County Board workshop on June 11, 2013.

COUNTY MANAGER COMMENTS:


   Imposition   of a wheelage   tax   requires   Board Action.
SUBJECT Enactment of County Wheelage Tax

Originating   Department Request —Authorized Signature       Date




Finance       u horized Signature                            Date




                 Authorized     Signature                    Date
County Attorney —




           Management —Authorized Signature                  Date
Property




Information Services —Authorized Signature               I   Date




       Authorized Signature                                  Date
Other —
                                          DRAFT RESOLUTION


 3          WHEREAS, Ramsey County operates and maintains a 295 mile network of County
4      Roads and County State Aid Highways that is critical to the local and regional economy,
 5     and provides safe, convenient transportation options for County citizens; and
 6

 7           WHEREAS, The network includes 91 bridges, 325 signals, over 30, 000 signs,
 8     more than 9, 000 drainage structures and extensive water resource treatment systems;
 9     and

10

11            WHEREAS, This transportation system represents one of the County's largest
12     assets, with an estimated value exceeding $ 1 billion, not accounting for underlying rights

13     of way; and
14

15           WHEREAS, State transportation funding has not kept pace with the needs of the
16     system and current funding levels are inadequate to support proactive management of
17     these vital assets; and
18
19             WHEREAS, Road pavement conditions and related transportation elements
20     continue to deteriorate, affecting all aspects of the transportation system, including safety,
21     maintenance and operations; and
22

23             WHEREAS, Motorists pay a direct cost in the form of increased costs to operate
24     and maintain their vehicles; and
25
26             WHEREAS, In 1971, the Minnesota Legislature authorized the seven Twin Cities
27     Metro        to impose a $ 5 per vehicle wheelage tax as an additional funding
               counties

28     alternative; and

29
30             WHEREAS, While statewide transportation funding sources continue to fall short of
31     impending needs, a wheelage tax imposed at the local level goes directly into
32     transportation needs of the area for which the tax is collected; and
33
34             WHEREAS, During the 2013 session the Legislature amended Minn. Stat.
35 §    163. 051 to permit all 87 counties in the state to impose a wheelage tax in the amount of
36 $    10.00, beginning January 1, 2014; and
37

38             WHEREAS, The Ramsey County Board held two workshops in 2013 to better
39     understand transportation system needs, within the context of current funding sources,
4o     and how potential imposition of a wheelage tax could help backfill current funding
41     shortfalls; and

42

43             WHEREAS, The first workshop was held on April 16, 2013 and covered the
44     broader discussion of system needs, funding challenges and potential funding options
45     including the wheelage tax; and
46

47
48
49            WHEREAS, The second workshop was held on June 11, 2013 and focused
50   specifically on how a wheelage tax could provide a critical funding supplement to address
51   critical system deficiencies with the current backlog of deteriorated pavements serving to
52   illustrate the scope of current program deficits; and
53
54            WHEREAS, The law provides that the proceeds from a wheelage tax must be
55   deposited in the county's road and bridge fund; and
56

57            WHEREAS, Based on the number of registered vehicles in Ramsey County,
58   exempting those identified by statute and accounting for nominal administrative fees, it is
59   estimated         that   a$   10   wheelage   tax   would generate net proceeds of   approximately $ 3. 8
60   million per year; and

61
62            WHEREAS, The Ramsey County Public Works Department has identified a full
63   range of ongoing transportation system needs, including pavement deficiencies, safety
64   problems, congestion /capacity issues, outdated signal systems, aging bridges and minor
65   structures, and deteriorated drainage systems; and
66
67            WHEREAS, One of the most critical needs is the continued deterioration of
68   pavement conditions with 58 miles of roadway currently meeting technical criteria for
69   pavement replacement or rehabilitation,                  representing $ 26 million in deferred
70   maintenance; and

71

72            WHEREAS, Proceeds from a wheelage tax will be used to fund major pavement
73   maintenance projects for the next several years; and
74

75            WHEREAS, Prioritization of projects would be completed as part of the County' s
76   five   year   Transportation Improvement Program ( TIP), revised and submitted to the Board
77   for approval during the spring of each year; and
78

79            WHEREAS, Ramsey County Board of Commissioners desires to implement such a
80   wheelage tax and have the state registrar of motor vehicles collect the same; Now,
81   Therefore, Be It
82

83            RESOLVED, The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners authorizes and
84   imposes       a   Ramsey County wheelage tax in the amount of $ 10 per registered vehicle, as
85   authorized        by Minn. Stat. § 163. 051, beginning January 1, 2014, and each subsequent
86   year thereafter, subject to levy limits and other factors, on each motor vehicle, subject to
87   statutory exemption to such tax; and Be It Further
88

89            RESOLVED, The Board directs the Ramsey County Manager to certify the tax to
90   the State Registrar of Motor Vehicles before August 1, 2013, and Be It Further
91
92            RESOLVED, The Board directs the Ramsey County Manager to prepare an annual
93   report to citizens and the County Board summarizing the work completed with the
94   wheelage tax proceeds.
95

				
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