Thursday, November 01, 2007

Letters to the Editor: Oct 31 - Nov 7 - Views - Incoming - Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh

Letters to the Editor: Oct 31 - Nov 7 - Views - Incoming - Pittsburgh City Paper - Pittsburgh Ginning up another bad idea

Re "Whisky Rebellion II" [Oct. 24]: Last year, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and his entourage took a trip to Charlotte/Mecklenburg County (you know, the new US Airways hub) to see how a real city operates. Perhaps public transportation was not a discussion topic?

The 10-percent drink tax is yet another textbook shell game that has been played on this region's taxpayers for several decades. Wait a minute! The smoking ban in Allegheny County could not be enforced because that law lacked a "statewide" consistency. Hmm, does that mean there should be a 10-percent drink tax imposed on all other counties to bail out Port Authority customers and its payroll? Quite a paradox if you consider it! Pittsburgh/Allegheny Co., better known as the "bizarro world" of public finance, need to adjust down the payrolls of all public-sector entities to match the economic climate of this region.

Every year, the Port Authority steals millions of desperately needed federal highway dollars that should be spent improving pitiful local roads and infrastructure. The 10-percent drink tax + the ludicrous amusement tax + the county tax + the wage tax = an exodus of 9,000 customers every year from the "bizarro world" of public finance! Yeah, I know: It's Harrisburg's fault. It's "fill in the blank's" fault.

Here is a simple solution: Let the people who use the service pay for it. Charge a Port Authority customer, per trip, the same cost of operating an economy car commute to work five days a week. Then, tack on a surcharge for all of the rutted secondary roads in this region caused by Port Authority buses.

-- Gordon Fucho, Edgewood

No comments: