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TAXES: Transit agencies should have plan to turn a profit

Letter by Douglas V. Ellis, Covington on July 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm | 28 Comments »
July 10, 2012 12:36 pm

In today’s weak economy, why are the citizens of the Puget Sound region not holding our politicians accountable for out-of-control spending which leads to more regressive taxes?

A good example is our regional mass transit system. Currently serving the Puget Sound we have Pierce Transit, Metro, Community Transit and Sound Transit. All of these agencies overlap routes and require huge infusions of dollars to stay in business. Where do the dollars come from? Yes, us taxpayers. For every dollar these agencies generate from fares, how much do these fares offset our tax burden?

Consider this. As a private business, I go to my local banker and seek a loan for operation, maintenance and new capitalization for ABC Public Transit, but cannot generate a business plan for the next five to 10 years that shows I will be making a profit and able to service the loan based on simple business practices. No lender will float a loan knowing the odds are against them to ever cover the investment.

Which of these four local transit agencies have a business plan that shows they will turn a profit and no longer require regressive taxpayer support to continue funding businesses that are currently black holes financially?

This is but one example of out-of-control spending.

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