by Jeff Taylor
Just to cut through all the foot-hopping, gamble this, and gamble that “analysis” from the UPoR, if Charlotte city council votes to pursue federal funding for the initial $45m. rump of a $500m. streetcar this is a vote for a future tax hike. Guaranteed.
There is simply not $21m. in local matching funds sitting around the city General Fund otherwise, certainly not for very long. Money might pulled from other line-items in the short-term, but sooner or later the cry will go up that some “critical need” is not being met and the only way to fix that is with a tax increase.
We’ve totally shot past the old fudged, but coherent McCrory Rule — only build trains that are sure to get federal funding and only use half-cent transit tax revenue locally. Instead we’ve joined the headlong stampede for “free” federal money and “transformative” re-development projects. Big promises and big tax hikes are the starting point.
Happened in Baltimore where disgraced Mayor Shelia Dixon hiked taxes on city parking lots by 18 percent in order to provide “free” bus service via buses from Mayor Anthony Foxx’s DesignLine International bus-builder. This is what Charlotte has to look forward to — tax hikes, waste, and corruption.