Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bottom line: Cook burbs get worst deal, no formula change this year, expansion needs new revenue and new formula

Fascinating report from the Mass Transit Chair Rep. Hamos. She quantified for the first time how suburban Cook gets the worst deal in the region by about $100 million. They pay about $100 million more with their one percent sales tax than they receive in transit services. The City and the collar counties each get more transit service than the sales tax they pay. The collars only pay .25 percent sales tax which is why they get a better deal than Cook burbs. And the CTA runs a 24 hour service which is why they spend a lot of money. But as Hamos said, this data should puncture the myth that the collars are subsidizing the City. Instead the Cook burbs are subsidizing everyone. Speaker Madigan sat in on the committee, indicating how important this committee is. And the short-term solution to the CTA crisis looks to be based on paratransit, both with some state support and by getting some federal Medicaid dollars for some rides. There was no talk of the software tax that the governor proposed.

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