Transit Tax Hike Not Okay

Published September 10, 2007

Mayor Daley says “no one is going to blame anyone for increasing the sales tax” to fund mass transit (“Daley says tax hike for transit essential,” Chicago Tribune, Aug. 23).

He must not be listening to people out here in McHenry County and other suburban areas who recognize a suburban bailout of Daley’s wasteful, corrupt, and featherbedded CTA when they see it.

A legislative analysis shows the suburbs would pay $220 million more in sales tax under the current proposal. The city of Chicago would pay $100.5 million more in sales and real estate transfer taxes. The CTA would receive 60 percent of the total $322.5 million tax hike, but Chicagoans would pay only about one third of the new taxes.

Meanwhile, after more than 30 years of the Regional Transportation Authority, mass transit accounts for less than 1 percent of suburban travel. A tax hike would simply throw more good money after bad.

Steve Stanek ([email protected]) is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute.