The overall, 25-year transportation plan has a price tag of $10.7 billion. Most of that, about $8 billion in federal funds, would go toward expanding roads and repairing bridges.As you see, nearly 80% of the money will be used to expand roads and repair bridges. Anyone who has ventured out on the highways surrounding Indianapolis the last few years couldn't help but notice there seems to be no shortage of money for these projects already. Nonetheless, these folks want to create this new regional authority with a new tax supported by either sales or income taxes. Don't be surprised to see new toll lanes added as an additional feature to ensure billions more flow into this regional authority. It will be many years down the road before a light rail train running from Noblesville on the far northeast side will stretch to Franklin on the far southside.
The remaining $2.4 billion would be for mass transit.
Residents of the nine-county region would be asked to contribute about $1.2 billion, which Indy Connect officials estimate would be an average of $15 a month per household over 25 years.
No one has decided on a way to collect that money yet, but the prevailing suggestion is that lawmakers approve a public referendum for a sales tax or income tax increase.
These regional transportation authorities have become big boondoggles everywhere they've been created. The lawyers, government contractors and consultants love them because of all of the money they make off of them, but they inevitably are poorly managed, face continuing solvency issues and are constantly going back to the well for more money. The elected officials put their best pals on the governing authorities but deny responsibility when it comes time to ante up more money to fund them. The people making all of the money off the system are always big contributors though to their re-election campaigns. Unless you want another CIB on a much grander scale, you should contact your legislators and urge them to vote against this proposal.
UPDATE: Fred McCarthy at Indy Tax Dollars has some inciteful comments as usual on this latest proposal:
The map also raised another thought. Is this a "B & B" operation. No, not bed and breakfast. We mean Ballard and Brainard.. There appears to be somewhat excessive emphasis on super bus transit between the Palladium and the Stadium. Is this a bone to our friends up north so they can avoid the increased parking rates Ballard is seeking? "Park at the Palladium and ride to the Stadium." Won’t that make for less economic activity downtown if people can go door-to-door on a plush, rapid bus trip? Back to priorities. Who gets to ride first? The big wheels to the Stadium or the little wheels to work?
We have to admit to getting a smile from the very last paragraph in the story. A quote from the executive director of the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority, gives us this gem. "But I think once we put the service on the street...(sic)people are going to see it, realize it and understand it."
Reminded us of something we heard recently - "We have to pass this 2,500 page bill to find out what’s in it and then the people will love it."