Pawning our roads for cash

Pawning our roads out to the highest bidder, increased gambling statewide, and cuts to police and fire services are just some of the adverse effects of our legislative efforts to reduce the state of Florida’s expenses. Is this really the price we’d like to pay in exchange for some barely noticeable tax decreases? The cuts are already taking its toll on cash strapped bedroom communities (incorporated neighborhoods who lack all the economical qualities of a sustainable city, typically lacking the commercial, agricultural, and industrial taxing districts which keep real municipalities afloat) and will continue to wreak havoc, if not totally bankrupt other municipalities in the coming years (which may not be such a bad thing, given the agglomeration identity crisis also underway.) Point of the matter is, this tax cut will hurt Floridians more than it helps us, instead shifting tax burdens onto sales tax receipts, increased tolls (which the state would only collect a portion of, if we lease them out to businesses,) and gambling.

Any company with the capital to lease a Florida toll road would be stupid to not jump at the opportunity, and we, the Floridians, would be even stupider if we relinquished control of such a powerful asset. See, like most of the US, Florida lacks a venerable option to the toll road given that our rail “network” is close to inexistent (an 11 hour ride on Amtrak to Jacksonville, doesn’t cut it.) The few billion we’ll reap now certainly won’t be used to institute and widespread changes and the company who buys them will be virtually guaranteed business.

Now, we’d like to reiterate that here at Transit Miami we aren’t in favor or against tax cuts; we’re behind more intelligent use of the economic resources we have now, before deciding what can be done to alter the budget (which clearly has not occurred.) We’re all for eliminating government waste in a well thought out manner that will help reduce our expenses while still providing our residents with the police, fire, and educational, and transit services they deserve…

2 Responses to “Pawning our roads for cash”

  1. 1 Anonymous

    One problem that can come from privatizing roads. As what happened in Jamaica there is a toll road from Montego Bay to Kingston. When it became private they had a clause with the Gov’t stating no competition may occur in transporting people the same route. So no commuter rails are allowed.
    I definitely don’t want anything that does not promote competition.
    PS the MDX will never stop building tolls, even if they are drowning ini toll money.

  2. 2 Ryan

    Well, the tolls aren’t inherently bad. Neither is the increase in toll rates. This is actually good, because it begins to force drivers to pay more of their share for the incredible cost of externalities resulting from sprawl and an overdependence on driving.

    The problem is that it’s private companies that will be raking in most of the toll money. That means it’s not being used to fund things like transit expansion/upgrades, though it’s unlikely it would’ve been allocated that way due to poor, auto-centric policies at both the state and local levels.

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