Messages from the Council Chair

Our budget reflects our values and priorities

October 2021

Chair Charlie ZelleIf you want to understand an organization’s priorities and values, its budget is the best place to look. Right now, the Met Council is setting our 2022 budget, and we are discussing our priorities and inviting everyone to weigh in on our fiscal plan.

The budget document we’ve laid out tells an impressive story of the large scope of Met Council services that are foundational for this region’s prosperity and livability.

We provide wastewater services to 111 communities in the seven-county metro area. We operate one of the cleanest and most efficient systems in the nation with rates to our customers about 40% below our peer regions. We spend about 25% of our budget on this essential service.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, transit ridership dropped 50%. Even though we had to discourage nonessential rides for safety reasons, we still provided more than 80,000 trips a day to people who rely on transit to get to essential jobs, medical appointments, and other destinations.

Now we’re scaling up our service to meet the needs of the increasing number of riders who are returning to transit. Our services include Metro Transit, Metro Mobility, Transit Link, and contracted bus routes. Transit services, pass-through grants to local governments, and transportation planning accounts for 54% of our total budget. Our investments to preserve and revitalize our transit network would not be possible without over $700 million in federal COVID relief funds. This funding will keep transit and transportation services on a sound fiscal footing through 2025.

Comment on the budget

The Metropolitan Council is receiving public comment on the proposed 2022 Unified Budget and 2021 Levies, Payable 2022 (PDF).

Public meeting: December 8, 6 p.m.
To register to speak at the meeting, email [email protected] or leave a message at 651-602-1500.

Other ways to comment:
To be included in the official record, comments must be received before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8. Submit comments:

  • Mail:
    Metropolitan Council Public Information
    390 N. Robert Street
    St. Paul, MN 55101

  • Public Comment Line: 651-602-1500

  • Email: [email protected]

  • TTY: 651-291-0904

A smaller but critical portion of our budget, about 12%, will support economic development and job creation, providing affordable housing opportunities, funding our much-loved regional parks system, researching and analyzing data about our region, and providing planning assistance to local governments.

The budget sets aside $3.2 million for additional investments in housing security, transportation, mitigating climate change, and housing affordability. These investments reflect four strategic priority areas the Met Council identified for focus through 2024, including activities intended to contribute to regional efforts to eliminate racial disparities.

We are truly excited to do this work. We know that to be successful we must engage with elected officials, neighborhood leaders, businesses, and nonprofits in a wide-ranging discussion about the region’s future.

We invite you to take a look at our budget and send us your thoughts by December 8. A good budget reflects an organization’s values and a statement of its priorities. Community voices are an essential part of this process.