The closest they get to finding any real improprieties is Mr. Ford’s car allowance and mileage reimbursement, but that does not stop them from reporting salacious details of hotel room charges and his very generous employment contract. No illegality or budget overruns are found, but the tone of the article is supremely negative. Mr. Ford’s contract happens to be up for renewal and the RTA Board tabled a $ 16,300 raise for him two weeks ago.
A special meeting of the RTA Board of Directors was held this morning, including a closed session. Public bodies operating under the Open Meetings Act are only allowed to close meetings when deliberating personnel matters and contracts. It is not much of a leap to speculate that Mr. Ford is today’s main course at the RTA Board meeting.
The Detroit News duo filed an FOIA request for Mr. Ford’s contract details and expense reimbursements shortly after Paul Hillegonds, Governor Rick Snyder’s appointee to the RTA Board, began reviewing Mr. Ford’s expenses. Coincidence? Hardly.
When The RTA Property Tax Passes, It Will Be Imposed On All Four Counties - Even Those Which Reject It
The 20 year Regional Transit Authority, 1.2 mil property tax plan is on the ballot in four Southeastern Michigan counties, on November 8th. The public doesn’t seem to realize that this property tax will be imposed on all four counties, even if one or more of the counties reject it. A big change from past millage requests specifically designed to shove this tax down anti tax Macomb County’s throat. Michigan’s tax-and-spend establishment really wants this tax to pass.
The RTA master plan is $ 1.22 billion in new fare revenue, $ 3.1 to $ 3.3 billion in new property taxes, and $ 1.7 billion in new Federal & State subsidies. A grand total of $ 6 billion, more or less. Let’s say that the relatively modest increase in vehicle revenue miles provided by the RTA master plan – 32% – doubles their ridership. That $ 6 billion cost, divided by 78,327 new passengers, equals $ 76,602 per passenger over the 20 year period. You could buy every one of those 78,327 new riders a new car and pay for their fuel and insurance as well. Instead, RTA will treat them to the urban mass transit experience.
Urban buses and other mass transit vehicles have a special ambiance with their diverse ridership and high level of maintenance. This experience is enhanced by the faint aroma of pepper spray, plus the full array of odors you would encounter in a hospital emergency room during an overwhelming disaster – except for disinfectant. Bus scheduling allows those too poor to visit a casino the opportunity to gamble daily on punctuality at their workplaces.
Spectacular Death in Michigan No Bar to Success in Washington
While Michiganders were being entertained and infuriated by the lies of Proposal 1 proponents, few of us noticed that the very same roads funding strife is reaching a crescendo in Washington. The Federal Highway Trust Fund spends about $ 50 billion dollars on ‘transportation’ across the U.S.A. each year. Michigan received $ 1.39 billion from the HTF in Fiscal Year 2014 for new construction of roads and bridges, along with mass transit activities. As a point of reference, Michigan spent an additional $ 2 billion of funds raised within the state for the same ‘transportation’ purposes. The Federal HTF paid for 40.9% of Michigan ‘transportation’ spending in FY 2014.
Funded in the past by an $ 0.184 per gallon Federal gasoline tax ($ 0.244 per gallon on diesel fuel), the Highway Trust Fund’s traditional fuel tax revenues have fallen to about $ 34 billion. The Federal government has been supplementing the Highway Trust Fund from general deficit spending revenues since 2008. In Fiscal Year 2014, the Federal government supplemented the Highway Trust Fund with $ 11 billion in general revenues.
Tomorrow morning the polls open for those who have yet to electorally weigh in on the largest tax increase that Michiganians have ever had the opportunity to give themselves.
We have chronicled the multiple failures of the package here in nearly 80 articles, specifically referencing the proposal itself and dozens of other articles leading up to it. Our efforts over the last five months have demonstrated that the overall issue in Michigan’s roads situation is one of complete dysfunction. In fact we’ve shown the proposal is hardly about roads alone, though that aspect is the only legitimate premise under which the proposal is being sold.
Aside from the convoluted language and constitutionally flawed (and with predictably BAD outcomes) package, it is a cacophony of noisy promises to Michigan’s recipients of taxpayer largess. Townships, schools, ‘the working poor’ and the road builders themselves all seem to have a dog in the fight if one was to buy into the governor’s hype.
It all comes at a cost, and it appears the taxpayers are wising up.
RightMi.Com editors weigh in on their favorite anti-prop 15-1 articles.
We’ve had plenty to say about proposal 15-1.
In fact, there was so much to be said that we had to create a special category for it, and all things leading up to, and related have been edited by Kevin to reflect their importance to the issue. While the traditional media sources play the equal opportunity game with both proponents and opponents of HR UU (proposal 15-1), it’s been our position to not do so. We have maintained that equal opportunity is already a function of those who would lie about its ‘advantages,’ and it needs no further promotion to make it one of the most dangerous options Michiganians have ever faced at the ballot box.
As we wrap up the arguments with only 2 days left before the polls close, RightMi.com editors thought it important to offer up a few ‘MUST READS!’ As you make a special trip to the polls for an election day that you wouldn’t have if the last legislative session would have done its job we have highlighted the most compelling. The editors have selected 5 or more articles from RightMi.com directly, and one other from anywhere else, traditional or otherwise.