Trimet technocrats, some of the most brilliant technocrats in the USA, have figured out the best way to find money to FEED THE MONSTER is an end run around the voters by using their extensive crony contacts in the State legislature. Currently the legislator is controlled by DEMOCRATS . The democrats, having had exclusive power for many years have developed an efficient machine which Trimet is an integral component. It is called the LIGHT RAIL MAFIA and its function is to keep tax dollars flowing to the crony contractors of Oregon.
Federal dollars have dried up so Trimet is looking at its own "tax base" to support its ongoing expansion. Why bother going to the voters when you can get the job done using the contacts already in place.
Elliot Njus told me he wouldn't cover THIS STORY until it had teeth, which meant until it had a real chance of becoming law. Well here we go folks, Trimet is attempting to institute a withholding tax on every paycheck in the State of Oregon. Will it become law? They have their cronies in place to pass such a law so watch out.
You have to understand, Trimet is a "technocracy" .Technocrats live in a parallel universe from the citizenry. They are totally unaccountable to voters. The technocrats in charge of Trimet have total control of the agency, there is nothing that any citizen group can do to influence it. They have formed powerful allies over the years, and the Trimet technocrats have made sure the multi millions flowing through there get into the pockets of the right people. It's a brilliant scam. Only with the advent of social media has the secret become public, and the Portland public is slowly waking up to the truth about "their" transit system
Below the break are some comments about this story that are useful
6 hours ago
A stark signal of Trimet's intent was the previous bill at the same 1:00 hearing.
SB 1510 is an unrelated Hood River Bridge bill yet has a interesting TRANSIT amendment which appears to be a friendly companion to 1521.
The interesting amendment "TRANSIT SECTION"
TriMet's lobbyist said the amendment would allow TriMet to spend grant money outside of their district. Grant money could mean federal matching funds for capital projects.
However, it appears the amendment would also allow bond funds to be spent outside TriMet's district.
Further signaling a potential effort to fund the CRC/Light Rail and do so in Washington as well.
The amendment also appears to enable TriMet to bond and spend (for a capital projects extending outside their jurisdiction) with reimbursement coming from another party"
"Another party" could be C-Tran for their half of the CRC/Light Rail project?
Consider all the pieces both bills would provide TriMet:
A new massive revenue stream;
Billions in borrowing capacity;
Little to no real restrictions on how it must be spent;
Revive the CRC/Light Rail
Authority to spend outside their jurisdiction;
Enter into agreements with and finance adjacent transit district project elements.
6 hours ago
This bill (reportedly dead in it's tracks) would have allowed TriMet to impose a new income tax creating billions in new borrowing capacity.
Reporting on should be more accurate and complete.
"The additional tax would be restricted to improving or maintaining bus service. It couldn't be used for other modes of transportation, such as light rail."
That is untrue and has no business being stated as fact and without any explanation.
The ease at which the new proceeds could be and certainly would be effectively spent on light rail or anything else is crystal clear.
The bill reads:
(1) Enhancing the frequency of bus service;
(2) Acquisition of buses;
(3) Bus service expansion; or
(4) Maintenance and operations of buses.
By design all TriMet would have to do to effectively spend the new revenue stream on light rail is to use it to free up and re-direct current operations revenue away from buses.
How much would this new income tax give TriMet?:
$71 million the first year alone.
Grow every year.
Double in 20 years.
Capable of debt servicing Billions for light rail or BRT projects voters would never approve.
These billions far exceed the $450 million Oregon share of CRC/Light Rail
Negates the legislature's authority to decide the CRC
7 hours ago
TriMet is currently proposing to spend $7 to $8 million to buy into a parking garage the PDC is unbelievably building across from the Oregon Convention Center. Times must be good if they can afford $160,000 per parking space for 50 central city parking spots for their employees. Until fluff like this is eliminated (and there's plenty of fluff to be eliminated), I cannot support additional taxes for TriMet.
7 hours ago
@MarkDaMan TriMet just spent $30 million + on re-inventing an electronic fare system that has already been in use for decades on other transit systems worldwide.
That doesn't include the only God knows how much money they are spending on tearing up existing light rail platforms to put in the wiring for said system, because they lacked the foresight to include the wiring when they built the platforms.
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6 hours ago
@MarkDaMan I wish I had free parking when I worked downtown...yet another benefit most private citizens don't get but have to fund for the government elite...employer paid full family healthcare, employer paid defined benefit pension, guaranteed raises,
11 hours ago
Tri Met users only pay about 22% of operations when they buy a ticket. This does not include capital construction of rail lines, stations, new trains and buses. As long as Tri-Met is allowed to collect tax money, it does not need to be cost effective to the taxpayers or service friendly to the riders.
Tri-Met has become a unsustainable developer of boondoggle rail projects and bridges, instead of serving the customers with better service at a reasonable price.
11 hours ago
Once they prove they can be responsible with the funds they get, then they can steal money from my paycheck.
I expect to be retired and moved out of Oregon, maybe dead, perhaps even reincarnated before that happens.