Comment 35026

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted October 28, 2009 at 18:50:45

madmatt, why can't you answer the question directly? If given the choice to spend their own income, would people spend the $42 million on the HSR or only part of it? If they would only spend part of the $42 million on transit, that means that money is being wasted on things people don't want. How is this a good thing?

>> How much does the Police Services cost /year? We still have crime in the city so they can't be doing a very good job

2002 - $85,142,010
2008 - $116,051,430

This is an increase of 36.3% during which time tax revenue went up 32.1%. Because tax revenue reflects property values, which reflects how much people want to live in this city, this indicates that the money being spent on the police service is not resulting in an equal or improved quality of life in this city.

Ultimately, the goal of government should be to invest in areas and in ways where doing so increases tax revenue faster than expenditures.

LL >> The budget increases A Smith cites (whether accurate or not) could go a long way with some folks who are passionate about transit at the steering wheel.

You're 100% correct. If the city started managing it's transit dollars more efficiently, with an eye towards delivering the largest amount of customer value/dollar of cost, it might make sense to increase the transit budget to $100 million from it's current $42 million.

However, the only way to know if value is being created by investing in the HSR is to show profits. One way to help this along would be to reward the people in charge of the HSR with bonuses that were tied to this profit. As HSR managers did a better job of managing taxpayer resources, they would produce bigger profits and they would be rewarded for their success. Finally, the remaining profits could either flow back into transit improvements, or go to reducing tax rates for citizens.

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