RFTA tax is no good
No one can argue that a public bus system isn’t a good idea. No one is against a clean environment. And no one wants added road congestion. But there is a danger of general emotional appeals for your money by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority: you can’t say no to the arguments, but the facts tell a different story.
RFTA just received a $25 million Federal grant, hence the $8,000 dinosaur eggs and Taj Mahal bus stops. This year they received another $2.5 million from the Feds. They receive millions from sales tax we pay, millions from Aspen Skiing Co., the towns, counties and state funds.
Now we come to the problem of free money: you just want more. Fiscal accountability is out the window. But you’d prefer to talk about how much you love the environment and how you want fewer cars at each red light. But this is about money.
It is about mortgaging your children’s future with higher taxes and raising the cash outflow that homeownership costs. RFTA throws in that your children’s lives will be better with new buses, but the added tax could keep them from qualifying to buy a home.
How about the freedom to choose how you spend your money? RFTA could float a bond issue, as the Basalt library did. Those who belittle the $95-plus-a-year tax I’d pay can dip into their own paycheck and buy a bond. That is freedom of choice. RFTA is asking for a 25 percent budget increase. Who has received a 25 percent raise this year to pay for this?
You would not hurt the environment, cause a bigger carbon dioxide footprint or contribute to global warming by saying “no” to 7A, but RFTA wants you to think that so they can slide their hand into your pocket.
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Regarding today’s education on holiday lights and dark sky policy (“City of Aspen to residents: Lights out,” May 6, The Aspen Times).