Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ask for local option

I recently got a letter from Idaho Smart Growth with the news that the Governor's Task Force on Modernizing Transportation Funding is investigating funding tools for public transportation. Idaho is one of only three states without a dedicated source of funding for transit.

Does this mean that, at long last, gentlemen ranchers Butch Otter and Mike Moyle are going to climb down off their high horses and confess that, yes, we live in an urban area? Hmmmm, as a veteran of too many years in the local option battle, I'm not placing any bets. But I've submitted my comments (due by September 15) and you can do the same. Here's what I wrote:

Idaho officials talk about local control and being fiscally responsible with tax dollars. That's the very reason the Idaho Legislature and governor MUST , at long last, allow local communities with the option of deciding for ourselves whether we want to pay a little extra in sales tax to have better public transportation, a new bridge, bike paths, or what have you.

Idaho is one of only three states that does not offer a dedicated state or local source of funding for public transportation. Please enact local option authority for Idaho, with no more than a 60 percent pass threshold. As our population ages and we continue to see the costs of our reliance on oil, Idahoans will want more transportation choices.

Thank you.

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