A reader sends this juicy morsel from Paul Egan a few days ago.
■ Allow cities whose transit services carry more than 10 million passengers per year, which includes Detroit, to spend up to 20% of its share of Michigan Transportation Fund money on transit, rather than city roads and streets.
■ Add language to allow the Michigan Transportation Fund to receive money from any source, not just fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees.
Can one say Regional Transit Authority? Us well-informed RightMi.com readers sure can. Matter of fact, there is a Tag for that, and we here will allow the missed it by 4% registration fee hike to remain in this Tag, here.
But, back to that RTA… isn’t it nice of the movers and shakers within SEMCOG to provide means of special assessments and property tax hikes by statute for the ongoing bailout of Wayne County? Gee, all of Michigan should thank, slick Rick and Lt. Calley, for that, no?
OABTW, did I happen to mention that I had the opportunity to shake hands with our beloved Republican governor on St. Patty’s Day? True story.
I was at a local convenience store reaching for my wallet and accidentally intercepted Snyder’s hand. Because every president really needs a *Smart Guy™*…
Gov. Rick Snyder joined Wayne County Executive Warren Evans [see here], Washtenaw County Sheriff John Clayton, Brad Williams of the Detroit Regional Chamber [these guys] and others for a morning press conference at a fire station in Dearborn [allah shazam].
Snyder, holding chunks of a broken road and bridge, reinforced the public safety message that the “Safe Roads Yes” campaign is emphasizing ahead of the May 5 vote.
“Can you imagine one of these coming through your windshield?” the governor said, going on to state that 14 percent of the bridges in Metro Detroit have plywood installed beneath them to catch falling concrete. “Your life is in jeopardy.”
“Fitch downgraded $203 million in building authority bonds, $186 million in limited general obligation bonds and $51 million in stadium refunding bonds. … jail boondoggle that wasted $130 million and counting.
Wayne County has a structural debt of $50 million and $40 million more is needed each year to bring its pension system back – the underfunding accounts for about 70 percent of the long-term debt of $2.9 billion.”
Of course, the title of this post is as fictitious as the propaganda below.
See that? Now it’s about children’s safety so, see Sec. 257.710e (2). Precious cargo, huh?
At least the $2B annual tax hikers stopped just short of “Or even the whole bridge” in this attempt to excite the emotions of easy preyed upon dimwits who might be gullible enough to buy into this contractor lobbied nonsense.
The Federal Highway Trust Fund, which accounts for nearly one-third of the state’s transportation budget, made about $1 billion available to Michigan in 2013. That’s 8 percent less than five years earlier and 15 percent less when adjusted for inflation, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.
So, where the Hell were Senators Levin, and Stabenow? Why did they allow our state to flounder while their man Harry Reid, was in charge? $3 Trillion?
The funding that generally comes from federal gasoline and diesel taxes was up 20 percent over a decade but down 5 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars [happens when .FEDGOV prints money].
The AP analysis also shows that Michigan ranked seventh-lowest among states in per-capita federal transportation funding in 2013 and second-lowest in per-capita overall spending on highways, roads and bridges [why is that?]. Only Georgia spent less per capita.
The same problem that has left the Highway Trust Fund teetering with insolvency [snip]
is vexing Michigan — people drive less and with more fuel-efficient vehicles while paying per-gallon gas taxes unchanged for two decades. For the last four years, Gov. Rick Snyder and lawmakers have had to divert money from the general fund [snip]
to ensure the state receives its matching federal transportation money because traditional revenue sources — state fuel taxes and vehicle registration taxes — are lower or stagnant.
Registration taxes are drying up? Well, gee, go figure what happens when Lansing’s Republican Majority loots what isn’t theirs. Went after pensions when it wasn’t necessary? Instantly $10,000,000,000+ flew the coop. Broke the 2007, promise by raising the State Income Tax, which they applied to those pensions. Those two raids alone stole money from folks who have decided to put off vehicle purchases, especially, the retirees who got plundered by Snyder. Look, it ain’t the undischargable student loan debt-slave Millennials who have money. Hell, they can’t even figure out that when borrowing for higher education it effects tuition rates to rise (another cluster**** conversation for another time).
“Our review … identified 48 of 92 [52%] expired warranty projects that needed corrective action,” the report said. “As of June 30, 2014, 24 of the warranties had been expired for over one year without MDOT having addressed the corrective action.”
MDOT said it agrees with all six recommendations made by the auditor general and is taking action to improve its system of monitoring and enforcing warranties.
“By October 2015, MDOT, in working with the Department of Attorney General, will develop a procedure for non-responsive contractors that have been notified to perform warranty work,” the department said in part of its response to the audit.
But the auditor noted that similar issues were raised in an earlier audit, released in 2010, and at that time the department said it would “strengthen its procedures to assure the completion of inspections.”
The other is if it’s one who is in the big spending Democratic Party calling for tax hikes and bogus *transportation* funding, AG Schuette will fake having a pair in the name of rah-rah go Team R nonsense. However, if it’s AG Schuette’s teammates who call for a $2,000,000,000 constitutional amendment tax hike and bogus *transportation* funding? Nope. Not so much as a peep. I know, old story. Constitution schmonstitution. It’s all just doubleplusgood speak.
“I will not tolerate companies that seek to take advantage of Michigan citizens and get rich on the backs of hard-working entrepreneurs through trickery and deception,” Schuette said in a statement.
MDOT is a gift that keeps on giving fodder against a 16.7% sales tax hike scheme.
The State of Michigan is paying $1.1 million a year to lease 23 passenger rail cars it can’t use — and likely won’t use for at least another two years — as the taxpayer tab for the troubled project approaches $12 million and counting.
The 1950s and ’60s-era double-decker cars are sitting in a rail yard in Owosso, where they are expected to remain for the indefinite future.
The Michigan Department of Transportation started leasing the cars in 2010 for two commuter rail passenger services proposed between Detroit and Ann Arbor, and Howell and Ann Arbor.
Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, said he doesn’t want to say much until he has more information on the contract. The deal was signed during the administration of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, but amended four times during the administration of Snyder, a Republican — each time to increase the contract’s maximum cost.