Re: Bend ovah Mass residents
posted at 1/15/2013 1:16 PM EST
In response to NO MO O's comment:
Where is the equity in having people who don't use services or infrastructure pay for it ?
Does anyone believe even with the many tax increases that the projects would not be mismanaged.. again and again. We don't get ANY confidence from history.
Sounds like more relatives will get hired.
On your equity point on infrastrucuture it includes more than transportation. Infrastructure does tie nicely to user fees.
Use water pay the water authority unless you have a well
Use the toilet pay the sewer authority unless you have a private sptic system
Use other utilities pay for them; power, tel, cable.......have solar panels good for you
Once you get beyond your residence, you have to look at the transportation network.
Transportation is how we as a society move our goods, service and people. The transportation needs/solutions are different based on where you live; urban, suburban, exurban or rural areas but government does have a role in all of them. The benefits of a strong economy and the rewards it offers the workers, managers and owners depends on a capable, strong and resilient transportation network. The issue always gets down to complaints about the fact that not everyone uses each aspect of the transportation network. Some never ride the T, while others never drive to Boston, while others never drive within the 128 or 495 belt or east or west of Worcester, or travel to the cape and Islands.
Unless you are completely off the grid you gain some level of benefit from all of the area specific transpotation solutions whether you directly use them or not. If you're that far off the grid then you don't need to worry because you're not paying for it or using it. But if you're like most, you gain benefit from the collective economic health of the region in which you live that is driven by its transportion system.
Public transportation policy needs to constantly review the cost/benefit aspects of transportation solutions. The balance between the different modes of transportation and their service areas need to be continually reviewed to maintain a cost/benefit that works for all. If government fails to adequately support transit through services or fares; the public will choose alterate solutions that would potentially completely clog our roads. If government fails to suport roads; then the movement of goods, services and people degrades impacting commerce and peoples lives outside of the cost effective transit areas.
Everyone benefits from government's (use of other people's money through taxes and user fees) investing in transportation infrastructure. The challenge is finding the appropriate split between taxes and use fee and the allocation of the user fees to specific expenditures.
A tiered plan of general tax review supporting transportation to an equitable base level seems to be the best starting place. Then tiers tied to user gas tax is very equitable for roads, transit fares for transit, tolls (a surcharge) for complex more expensive highway systems (like within 128). Some skin in the transportation game through other registration and excise taxes distributed proportionally to where they are generated. A vehicle miles tax (VMT) should also be distributed to where it is genearted as more miles are driven by residents outside of the metropolitan area so these dollars should be spent outside of the metrpolitan area.
The biggest inequity we have is the I-90 Tolls going to the Big Dig (I-90 was only half the project) when the I-93 travellers get the benefit for free. Tolling I-93 north and south of Boston should be on the table with those dollars allocated to Big Dig maintenance, not just as a revenue enhancer. These tolls would be equivalent the Sumner/Callahan, Tobin, Ted, or Allston oneway tolls.