From this week’s Soapbox:
The streetcar is a proven tool for economic development. It is the means by which we grow the city, attract new residents and investment, and grow the city’s tax base. Given that tax increases are the “third rail” of our current political climate, the streetcar is an empirical tool for revenue enhancement in the absence of increased taxes. In so doing, the city reverses the decline in the general revenue fund by boosting property and income taxes. Curiously enough, opponents have never provided an alternative to enhance revenues, despite being repeatedly asked, point blank, for a solution….
[The streetcar will] generate an estimated $378.2 million in economic development impact over some 30+ years. A project which bisects 57% of the tax base for the entire city. Moreover, according to City Manager Milton Dohoney, the proposed operating budget contains no line item money for the streetcar, and even if it were not built, the deficit would still be $58.7 million.