Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Missouri August 5th Ballot Initiatives -- Amendment No. 7

Part Three in a series.  Part 1Part 2. Part 4. Part 5.

The "We really mean it will all go for roads this time.  Really.  No, seriously.  This time for sure." tax increase. 

Constitutional Amendment No. 7
Proposed by the 97th General Assembly (Second Regular Session)
SS HJR No. 68
Should the Missouri Constitution be changed to enact a temporary sales tax of three-quarters of one percent to be used solely to fund state and local highways, roads, bridges and transportation projects for ten years, with priority given to repairing unsafe roads and bridges?

This change is expected to produce $480 million annually to the state's Transportation Safety and Job Creation Fund and $54 million for local governments.  Increases in the gas tax will be prohibited.  This revenue shall only be used for transportation purposes and cannot be diverted for another use.
[  ]  Yes
[  ]  No

I will be voting NO on Amendment 7.

First, there is no such thing as a temporary tax increase.  At the end of ten years it will not be dropped or stopped but it will be rolled into funding schools or whatever the cause célèbre.  Again, it will not be stopped, ever.  

Second, like everything else the government does, two-thirds of the money will not go to asphalt, concrete, machines with very large wheels, and projects, but to administrators and project plans and projected project plans and projections of projected project plans.  The sponge-like nature of the bureaucratic organism will soak in money but drip very little out while complaining about how underfunded they are.

I have a suggestion if we are short of money for critical repairs needed for bridges and overpasses, maybe we could do a few less super-sexy diverging diamonds and damn roundabouts.  I drove my whole life and hit one roundabout over on the west side of Fort Worth.  Now they are everywhere.  They are putting them on either end of an overpass near where my daughter lives.  All they need for a town of a couple thousand was a traffic light, not millions for traffic circles.

The other thing I hate are those rumble strips.  They put them in the middle of the highway out here in yellow-line no-passing zone.  Who, when pulling out to pass a tractor or an Amish buggy, doesn't cheat over on the end of the yellow line?  Do it there, and you think the Amish are throwing kids off the back to slow down the wolves. Another senseless waste of money.

Fire some administrators and the engineers who are overly enamored of strange, foreign interchange designs, and make do with what you have.  Like the rest of us.

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