Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gov's Transportation Finance Scheme

Re:  In case Governor Patrick is awaiting response to his trial balloon on transportation financing before he finalizes his state of the state address.

Dear Governor Patrick:

Our state per capita tax burden is 4th in the nation, per capita debt the highest, and still we can’t fund our transportation system? Do management much?

After forty years observing “transportation financing” plans, we know the drill. Neglect the one function of government that should be a priority, on the assumption that Big Business will always jump on board and taxpayers will give in to new revenues for an essential service. Then float a menu of tax, fee and/or toll increases and watch everyone debate these to choose the least objectionable. Then start over with neglect, squander the new revenue, and come back for more in another few years.

We taxpayers aren’t playing that game this time. No gas tax, income tax, sales tax rate increases. An $86 increase in license renewal fees? You’ve got to be kidding. The voters mandated a 5% income tax rate; you haven’t done it yet. Get back to us when you’ve shown them some respect.

First do the management reforms in the package. Include an independent audit of the Department of Transportation: show us where the money goes, show us the savings from the 2009 Patrick reorganization of transportation departments.

New Hampshire has no income and no sales tax; and it repealed its prevailing wage law twenty-eight years ago. We’ve never heard anyone complain about the Granite State’s roads and bridges. How do they manage so much better than we?

Get management/reform done first, then get back to us.


Citizens for Limited Taxation    PO Box 1147    Marblehead, MA 01945    508-915-3665