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Your Opinion: Subsidies for bus service unfair to taxpayers

Your Opinion: Subsidies for bus service unfair to taxpayers

April 12th, 2013 by Bert Dirschell, Centertown in News

Dear Editor:

JeffTran may be another example, of which there are many, of why the federal government continues to suck up an ever-increasing portion or our GDP while, at the same time, running up massive debts that endanger the well-being of all future generations.

According to an April 7 News Tribune article, JeffTran's budget is over $5 million. Only $206,300 of that comes from riders paying for their rides. $3.2 million comes from federal, state and local grants. Can someone please explain to me why the federal government should be able to force additional debt on all current and future residents of other states so that it can subsidize bus riders in Jefferson City?

In which Article of the Constitution did "We the People" give them the authority to further indebt people so that it could subsidize mass transit in another state? This is insanity that only occurs at this level when government is involved. Based on the statistics in the article it appears that JeffTran riders pay only 5 percent of the actual cost of their ride, while taxpayers are forced to subsidize the other 95 percent. 

I could not find any good statistics on JeffTran ridership. From what I did find it appears that annual ridership is less than 400,000. If that is the case then the cost of each ride is $12.50. About 50 cents of that cost is borne by the rider while taxpayers pay $12 per ride. I have to wonder what it would cost taxpayers if we were forced to pay for free taxi service for all Jefferson City residents, rather than almost free bus service. 

Forty bus rides a month, to and from work 20 times, cost a full fare rider only $40, or $480 per year. My auto insurance bill far exceeds that amount. In addition I bought the vehicle I drive, I pay the state for the privilege of having it (license and personal property tax), I also pay for the fuel I burn and the excise taxes on that fuel pay for the roads I use. Increasing fares to cover the shortfall does not seem unreasonable to me.

What does not seem reasonable is increasing my taxes, and the taxes of all future generations, as they pay the interest on this borrowed money, so that even greater subsidies can be provided.