As RTD considers doubling its FasTracks tax to fulfill its first tax promise, the suburbs are left over a barrel. In 2004, RTD promised that for a mere four cents on every 10 dollars in sales, heavy and light rail trains would fan out across metro-Denver. Turns out, these bureaucrats missed their mark by half. Since then, these government workers have been fired and now do financial projections for PERA (not true).
The RTD board is now on an excuse campaign blaming everything but themselves for its horrible projections and considering when to ask voters to double the FasTracks tax. There's never a good time to ask for a tax increase for an old promise.
Fact is, RTD holds all the cards. If the doubling of the tax increase doesn't pass, the northern suburbs wait until we have flying cars before the trains arrive and RTD gets to say, "Voters clearly didn't want to expedite the delivery of those trains." Even though the results will show that Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson killed the measure because they already have the trains. Why would they elect to be taxed more? Because people in Littleton want a day-trip to Thornton? Or maybe the folks in Lone Tree can pick up the Park Meadows train up to Flatirons Mall?
The voters in the south suburbs outnumber the north suburbs two to one. Any tax increase RTD offers is dead.
The only fair way for RTD to supplement its FasTracks lie is to raise sales taxes in Denver County. If all trains end in downtown Denver, why should Thornton with one line be subject to the same sales tax as Denver when thousands of in-state and out-of-state visitors are converging on the city for work, entertainment and sporting venues?
Realistically, no one is going to spend $8 roundtrip going 30 to 45 minutes on the train to save 0.4% sales tax.
Because these trains will drive people to Denver, the only equitable option for a FasTracks increase is for Denver to bump up its tax rate and provide the metro area with what we were promised.