Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why Parking Plot + Streetcar = Cincinnati tax increase


Politicians simply love it when they can turn to the populace and explain that the reason they voted for a tax increase was to avoid...something even worse.

Thus, read here and here about the careful buildup to this year's "fiscal cliff," with politicians and the media claiming that a Congress-created calamity -- the fiscal cliff -- was much worse than the largest tax increase in American history that they voted for, dem and GOP, earlier this year.

Cincinnati City Council is already setting up Cincinnati voters with a budget situation so calamitous, so draconian, that no rational voter would reject their entirely predictable demands for higher taxes in 2014 or 2015.  Here's why:
  • Because of over-staffing, wasteful multi-layered bureaucracy and overly-generous pay and benefits, Cincinnati's operating budget is annually out of balance by $25 to $50 million per year.
  • The Parking Plot continues that overspending for two more years, pissing away $50 million from the sale of a permanent asset in just two years.
  • At the end of that two years, the income flow from the parking meters and lots drops anywhere between $6 and $9 million per year.
  • In addition, when the Streetcar is up and operating each year, it is estimated to have negative operating expenses of between $3 million (City estimate) and $9 million (COAST estimate) per year.
  • Thus, these two awful decisions by the Council -- the Streetcar and the Parking Plot -- will take a City budget that is structurally imbalanced and hemorrhaging $25 million per annum, and drive it another $9 to $18 million into deficit, for a total of $34 to $43 million in the hole each year.
The thinking of Roxanne Qualls and other deficit-spending City leaders is that when faced with a choice of police and fire cuts of the magnitude of $34 to $43 annually, voters will choke, and approve their massive -- and predictable -- tax hike.

And we promise that at that time COAST will be there to remind them: "We told ya so!"

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