Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Proposition M

With all of the presidential election hype, it is easy to lose sight of issues that have an immediate effect in our back yard. Prop M is one such issue.

Proposition M will cover the deficits that Metro is projected to have this and next year as a result of a reduction of federal and state funding.

PROPOSITION M - Public Transportation

Shall St. Louis County, Missouri impose, in addition to an existing County-wide sales tax of one-quarter of one percent for the same purpose, a county-wide sales tax of one-half of one percent (0.50%) which shall have a sunset date twenty years from the date on which the tax is first imposed, for the purpose of providing a source of funds for public transportation purposes, with the revenues from one-quarter of one percent (0.25%) to be used for expansion of a light rail system and revenues from the remaining one-quarter of one percent (0.25%) to be used for the maintenance and operation of existing public transit facilities?


Now, I don't live in the county, but if I did, I would probably be thinking to myself, "why should I have to pay any more taxes to pay for a mismanaged failing public transportation system that barely benefits me?"

Thank god, I don't live in the county and can clearly respond that:
A. The half cent sales tax increase means that for every $100 that you spend, fifty cents more go to the government. That's really not that much. Also, you aren't bearing all the burden, St. Louis City passed a quarter cent sales tax increase that is dependent on this tax passing in the county, so the tax burden is shared, even if it isn't an even split.
B. More people are taking the Metro than ever before, partly because of higher gas prices, partly because the buses are more reliable than ever before.
C. Metro has been independently audited and no mismanagement has been found.
D. If Prop M doesn't pass, 28 of the 60 bus routes will be cut, including all service outside of 270.

Now that those issues are settled, I want to discuss the larger implications of public transportation in this city, again.

It is clear that the cities that work do so in large part thanks to government subsidized public transportation systems that require huge initial investments.

Public transportation supports the population density necessary to attract businesses, development, and the cost-effective administration of government funds.

If you live in the county, you have the opportunity to vote for Proposition M. Please do so as an investment in the future of St. Louis as a viable metropolis.

1 comment:

Ariel said...

hells yeah!

check out http://www.stlelections.com/images/pdfs/samp%20ballot%20nov.pdf
to see a sample ballot with the other amendments and propositions on this year's ballot.