Mass transit: ‘No’ to a tax increase

While it’s true that residents of Hamilton and Boone counties could benefit by the passage of a bill calling for a referendum on mass-transit funding, this nonsense needs to be stopped in its tracks right here and now. The fact of the matter is, the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee has in front of it a bill calling for that very referendum in Hamilton and Marion counties, and here’s what it ultimately will mean if the referendum reaches the ballot and is passed: more taxes.

Sadly, the bill already has passed the state House of Representatives. We’re with Gov. Mike Pence on this one. His plan has been, and continues to be, lower taxes for all of us – which is exactly as it should be. This effort clearly runs counter to his plan (and our hopes). We offer a hearty high-five to Sen. Luke Kenley (R-District 20), who dropped his co-sponsorship of the bill last week. We get that mass transit could become an economic-development engine, and that’s great … as long as it’s not on the taxpayers’ backs. Interesting, isn’t it, that when someone offers an idea that the first suggestion for funding it is “raise taxes”? Interesting, aggravating and unnecessary. No new taxes! Let’s see what can be done with what we have, and if we don’t have enough, well, we simply can’t afford it.

This continual practice of reaching well beyond current financial means has to cease. Isn’t it more than enough now that the Feds are deeper into our wallets? When is enough actually going to be enough? We have a better way to improve transit, or the process by which one gets from here to there; it’s called repairing roads. Our money is sitting in the budget-surplus drawer. Spend it to fix the sinkholes we avoid on a daily basis. Or, better yet, return it to taxpayers.