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Taxpayers: protect your money for road repairs

May 31, 2017

Taxpayers in any jurisdiction where light rail is proposed need to be watchful if they care about getting their road repairs. Light rail is hugely expensive (and hugely wasteful) but, once construction starts, very difficult to stop. Whereas road expenditures are much more flexible. The most recent glaring example of this problem is in Mesa where their light rail extension just came up short about $22 million. Guess where the bulk of the extra money will be taken from: you got it; road repair and construction.

Last August Phoenix voters authorized a massive increase in taxes, mostly for light rail, but the measure passed because of promises made to all travelers, with a large portion for roads. However, I predict that, as soon as the billions authorized for light rail come up short, there will certainly be attempts to take the funds from road construction, just as Mesa is proposing. Taxpayers beware.

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