FasTracks, that is what.
We could write a long dissertation explaining RTD's long and embarrassing FasTracks saga. But you know the story: RTD promised the world, if the voters would only grant a big tax increase. Voters granted that big tax increase, and a bureaucratic boondoggle of epic scale has unfolded ever since.
And now RTD wants to clean up their mess with, you guessed right, another tax increase.
From today's Denver Post editorial page:
The Regional Transportation District earlier this week recommended a proposal that would ask voters for a 0.4 percent sales tax increase to bring the project closer to completion.
We say closer to completion because the plan, while not abandoning commuter rail, doesn't do enough to affirm it will be built in the foreseeable future. Instead, the "hybrid plan" calls for building rail service as far as Westminster by 2022 and spending up to $894 million for some 80 miles of bus-rapid transit service for Broomfield and Boulder counties. There is talk of completing the rail portions in segments as money becomes available, but no details.
RTD general manager Phil Washington said he would bet rail could be built to Longmont before 2042. That's hardly going out on a ledge.
Passing a tax increase this fall is going to be a tough sell, but it could be the last chance to get FasTracks, which we have long supported, right. [Peak emphasis]
As the 2:1 drubbing of Prop 103 showed, voters in Colorado are not keen on increasing taxes right now.
And a tax increase to fund something that voters already thought they funded with another tax increase? You've got to be kidding.
For some reason, we don't think voters north of Denver, who don't have light rail, will want to increase their taxes for the possibility of a rail station at some point before 2042.
As guest contributor Plymouth Rocks pointed out last week, voters south of Denver already have light rail. Why would they vote to increase their taxes for something they already have?
FasTracks has become what conservatives said it would be: a joke.
(Photo Credit: Complete Colorado)