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Misconceptions about mass transit

By Harold Leese

There are times when political issues have moral and spiritual dimensions and when this is the case we have the responsibility to speak for the truth. Things like slashing state fuel tax funds from those who can least defend themselves for one's self-gain is morally wrong, for example, and we have a responsibility to take a stand

Without extreme support for this website...

The media could again Save SMART by getting you
to pay for
"Just another Cup of Coffee" per day
to support those poor people who depend on the bus

Without more industry support from job growth

Please Make
extremely well known
to help Detroit get a good public bus system.

Nothing would please the racketeers, gangsters, and the underworld more then for all church-goers and good people to stay away from the polls and to be uninformed about what is happening in Washington and in their own states and cities.

The cliche, "Politics is dirty" is plainly untrue; there are men and women who are in government who have high principles, fine motives, and unquestioned integrity. They have dedicated themselves to a life of public service because they sincerely want to serve their fellowmen. While it is true that politics seems to attract some people of questionable principle, that fact makes it all the more imperative that good people everywhere cast their vote for the best candidates and transit tax proposals including Proposal S, if they choose.

People who are not interested enough in what is going on in our country to register or vote are not likely qualified to speak authoritatively on government. There are a great number of fine, upstanding statesmen. Perhaps there are some who are unethical in their motives. That gives even more reason why everyone should vote. The ballot is part of our great American heritage and freedom. It is our only means of keeping government clean and proper. Many believe that it is not only their right to vote, but also the duty of every American to use his voting franchise, prayerfully and thoughtfully.

The old Soviet Union is an example of a country, which was indifferent to corrupt politics, and when the Communists ruled, they destroyed the partisan system and subsequently, the right of free franchise. Another example of corrupt politics is the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Let us hope that the indifference of our people toward the importance of voting will not lead to similar situations here when Proposal S (The SMART property tax) expires in August 2018.

The state and local governments are both required by federal laws to pay the prevailing taxes regardless of your vote.

In Southeat Michigan, there is presently no formal opposition to the false propaganda used by transit tax advocates to raise vast sums of taxpayer money for new rail service and freeway expanisions as opposed to protecting community transit and improving existing public bus service.

The public can and should demand quality mass transit investments and increased fare box revenues first as a prerequisite to all transportation related tax proposals.

Myths and Facts

  • MYTH - No matter the source, doing transit right will take serious money - FACT - Yes, it does matter. It's user fees from those who benefit that work best, without exception. This especailly means those who ride the bus or train. Industry support at the fare box was rejected in the case of the November 2006 SMART bus service reductions in the city of Livonia.

  • MYTH - Replacing current tax subsidies for operating costs to the city and suburban bus systems with regional ones will work to bring in needed rail service. - FACT - Statistics show keeping and protecting ten percent or more of the state fuel tax for existing mass transit is in the best interest's of Michigan's taxpayers.

  • MYTH - A 1-percent regional sales tax on services can work to support light rail and bus service - FACT - There is no correlation thus is a waste of limited tax dollars. Although these taxes can raise lots of money they can put southeast Michigan at a competitive disadvantage in employment opportunities compared to other areas

  • MYTH - Without a regional transportation authority, the public won't have enough confidence to support tax proposals for transit improvements - FACT - Southeast Michigan has a Regional Transit Authority. It's called the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART)

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