Letters to the Editor

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TOLLS: DOT accounting is smoke and mirrors

Letter by Gary Pavlovich, Gig Harbor on Dec. 27, 2011 at 11:50 am with 5 Comments »
December 27, 2011 1:18 pm

Re: “Tolls on SR 167 HOT lanes finally overtake spending” (TNT, 12-27).

Perhaps a different headline would be more appropriate for this story: “DOT cooks the books in order to prove themselves right” or “DOT uses accounting smoke and mirrors to justify money-losers.”

Didn’t we just go through a financial crisis in this country, much of it due to phony “accounting profits”? And now The News Tribune writes a front-page story celebrating the same “sham” accounting tactics that brought us Enron, AIG, Lehman Brothers and a host of others.

Do we never learn? Why do we keep handing blank checks to the bureaucrats at the state, especially at the Department of Transportation? Will no one be held accountable for allowing these “Ponzi schemes” to continue?

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. Gary – a couple of things…

    First, learn what “Ponzi scheme” really means.

    Second, I have to ask, do you have some sort of proof that DOT is cooking the books or is this just a baseless assertion?

  2. Maybe Gary is objecting to the very first line in the article that reads, “The HOT lanes are finally turning a profit after three years of red ink.”

    My reaction to that is “Thank God!!!” Finally the DOT has found a way that works to help pay for the roads that we all benefit from, by actually charging the people who use the special Hot Lanes that were made for the purpose of generating revenue. Hot Lane users have a choice to use them or not, just like Lotto players have a choice to buy tickets of not. What could possibly be wrong with that?

    And yah Gary, do look up the term “Ponzi Scheme.” You got it wrong.

  3. klthompson says:

    Reallocating expenses between activities does not reduce costs one iota. One departments gain is another departments loss. Those who deal in creative accounting are fooling no one. When all is said and done the money is gone.

  4. packerpav says:

    Did you read the story? The entire story was about the fact that the only way they could begin to show that 167 was paying for itself was to change accounting methods. Changing accounting does not make a project profitable. It either is or it isn’t. Toll projects in Washington are the genie that can’t be put back in the bottle. Just another source of taxes without DOT having to call them taxes.

  5. stumpy567 says:

    Ok.???????????
    18 million dollars to see an improvement of….
    Avg. 4 miles per hour faster in southbound lanes
    Avg. 1 mile per hour faster in northbound lanes
    I’m not sure about the benefit to anyone other than
    the DOT perpetuating their highly paid positions.

    Where is the 35 cent per gallon gas tax going???????

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