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.
P3 projects. Public funds. Private profit. Partnership to extort our money by force of government bureaucrats.
Asked whether he can find $1.2 billion in the state’s $52 billion total budget (federal & state funds), @onetoughnerd simply replies: “No.”
— Chad Livengood (@ChadLivengood) January 12, 2015
No? But of course, Mr. Transparent.