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The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

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i appologize for the blanket statement. You are right, perhaps i should have just said curse the politicians, though i am familiar with the budget problems and why the politicians have good reason for being opposed to expensive and unproven projects. one of the reasons we have budget problems is one certain politician: sundquist, he was awful. he cut education over and over and then decided we needed a new source of revenue (income taxes) when it was too late. another reason we don't have transit is b/c of george w. bush, and his similar attitude towards gov't money for public transit, which is similar to sundquist's, and sorry, bush is a hick politician of the worst kind.

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The highway fund portion of the state budget for '04-'05 was over 1.6 billion dollars or about 7% of the state budget. I would think somewhere in there they could find enough money to sponsor some mass transit solutions beyond adding lane upon lane to the interstates. Do we really want to end up like Atlanta?

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^ Hick politicians have nothing to do with it. Some of the biggest supporters in rail in Tennessee come from the rural areas. I really hate broad statements labeling a certian group(s) for all the ills of this or that...esp. when said group really doesn't exist first of all. Now there are opponents to mass transit, but to label them as hicks is not accurate. "Hicks" as alot of people like to define certian rural folks don't get elected to office very often to be quite honest. Opponents of mass transit would more likely be fiscal conservatives who come from well basically everywhere...EVEN the cities.

The reason there is no mass transit funding beyond what is already in motion (ie the Nashville Star) is that the Tennessee budget is virtually busted when it comes to having new funds available to start new projects of any kind and has been for several years now (note this is do to our revenue collection system, ie the over reliance on the sales tax). There is virtually no new spending outside of education (which is politically acceptable) and there is no way the state could pass new funding for mass transit when its cutting 320K off of TennCare just to balance the budget for a few more years past this one.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, maybe "hick" was just being used as a catchall term for those who don't support mass transit--like those politicians in the tony suburbs of Memphis and Nashville who wouldn't be caught dead on a bus or train if their lives depended on it, and whose main contact with mass transit is their maid who rides the bus.

My wife's from Kentucky, so I call her a hillbilly all the time, only because I'm from Tennessee and she's free to call me the same. :lol:

Over course, you're right, TN's too broke to do anything. Perhaps legalized gambling could take up the slack? And let's not forget, the feds have cut off funding from 80% to 50%.

Edited by sleepy

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A state income tax would help! People don't realize that a state income tax is deductible off of your federal income tax. You are simply sending money directly to the state rather than waiting for the federal government to divide it up.

A state income tax would make it easier to get money for such projects.

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A state income tax would help so many things, but unfortunately all you need around here is some bozo to organize a horn honking party to keep the rich richer, and not paying their fair share of taxes.

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SSJ and POET

I completely disagree on the need or wisdom of implementing a state income tax. It would be easy for this to degenerate into a point-by-point discussion with all of us regurgitating the well-worn pro and con talking points of an income tax. I prefer not to go down that path.

But as a new resident of downtown Nashville I just got shocked with a 25% property Tax increase two weeks before move-in. In addition there is a sales tax referendum on the ballot this fall that could further pick my pockets.

The last thing I would advocate is granting the state government, or any government, additional avenues to increase taxes. There will NEVER be enough revenue to satisfy an out of control local/state/national budget.

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Poet, because of Frist the sales tax in Tennessee is now deductible from the federal income tax. If we were to get a state income tax that would not be deductible. They will not deduct TWO state taxes.

SSJ, that is one of the stupidest things people say. Im sorry, do you want a communist government where every one is the same. Or mabe we should follow in the footsteps of Muammar Quaddafi. He has made Libya just like you want it. He distributes the wealth, takes away any second home, had laws that limmit your home size, and limmits how much money you have. It really perturbs me when people say that. I do not live in a wealthy family but i still think that is a really stupid comment. We live in America there family has worked to aquire the wealth they have, WHY take what they earned away? I you envy them get off your computer, stop complaining, and go earn LOTS of money. Thats what I plan on doing.

Edited by brewerw

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State sales tax is deductable everywhere in the USA, not just Tennessee. You have to forgo deductions on state income tax if your state has it.

I will point out however that Ronald Reagan and the Republicans eliminated the sales tax deduction in the 1986 tax simplification overhaul plan they pushed through congress. The idea was to make taxes more simple and more fair by eliminating hundreds of deductions and loopholes. They reduced the tax rate to compensate. Seems they have forgotten the promise they made for short term give aways that pander to votes.

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Nashville bound-- Your sales tax wouldn't be so high if there was a state income tax. To me, an income tax is more fair, and it is a better source of revenue. There is a reason why Tennessee is one of the last states without an income tax.

As for brewerw, you said what I wrote was stupid and acted like I said something else. Did I ever say I thought we should limit how many homes people can buy or anything even remotely similar to that? Let me answer that for you before you put words into my mouth again. No, I didn't. All I did was say that I very strongly support a state income tax, and all of a sudden I am a communist. Unbelievable. The thought of having more money taken out of my check (which I get up off my rear every day to go to, thank you) makes me cringe, but it is necessary. It is one of the sacrifices of living in a community with other people. Phil Valentine doesn't care about poor people or a fair tax system, he cares about helping Republicans hold on to more of their money. High sales taxes allow the wealthy to get away with not paying their fair share in taxes. Thats my opinion.

Edited by southsideJ

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Why should the wealth's money be taken away, THATS what i was taking about. Taking money from the wealth and giving it all to the poor.Thats is NOT the governments job. Thats for people and churches, and funds. I have nothing against giving money to the poor, it just that it is not right for the government. Second, no matter how much money the government takes it will never be enough. More taxes wont help. It will get the government further and further into debt. I know Dave Goetz, the Financial guy of the state( dont know position name), and he says the same thing. More taxes help the state get into more debt. They spend the money on new projects instead of taking themselves out of debt. Its smarter for the government to think ahead and cut spending on things like TENNCARE. If the state cut that there would be more money than the government could imagine.

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SSJ

If only I had faith that other taxes would be lowered if we had an income tax...I do not buy it, instead I believe all the taxes would be high.

The reason you had all the outrage throughout the state during 'Sudquist's reign of lies' was the duplicity in him running against the income tax and then double crossing the state 6 months removed. If the people of Tennessee voted an income tax in a statewide referendum I would vote against the measure but accept the 'collective wisdom' of the population.

monsoon

Several of my clients are in Charlotte and they tell me I am lucky to be in Tennessee...they have the income, property and sales tax burden. As a matter of fact a large insurance company has at least considered relocation due to the tax burden (I am not sure where they were/are looking to go).

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monsoon

Several of my clients are in Charlotte and they tell me I am lucky to be in Tennessee...they have the income, property and sales tax burden. As a matter of fact a large insurance company has at least considered relocation due to the tax burden (I am not sure where they were/are looking to go).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You will get no argument from me that taxes are too high. Federal taxes, by far, is the biggest bite out of my own personal budget.

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Why should the wealth's money be taken away, THATS what i was taking about. Taking money from the wealth and giving it all to the poor.Thats is NOT the governments job.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You could just as easily say it's not the government's job to maintain a system that allows people to get rich.

My point is--there's nothing "natural" about a free market system. It didn't fall from the sky. Through the government's courts, laws, and sometimes, at the point of the government's bayonets, the system exists. And in that system are winners and losers.

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I think the STAR is a little behind because Metro said it would be up and running by this year. I am not real sure but I think it comes online early next year. Metro just started construction of all the rail stop terminals in the last few weeks with the exception of the downtown terminal. I am not sure where that will be built. Does anyone know the answer to that question?

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Do you know if this will be the staion to handle rail just from the east side or the main terminal for the whole system when it is up and running?

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Judging by the renders of I've seen from it, I doubt that it will be to hold more than just one or two rails. However, they may change their mind, and they might have designed it so that it can be improved to be able to hold more traffic. I'm really not very sure.

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I think the STAR is a little behind because Metro said it would be up and running by this year. I am not real sure but I think it comes online early next year. Metro just started construction of all the rail stop terminals in the last few weeks with the exception of the downtown terminal. I am not sure where that will be built. Does anyone know the answer to that question?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

According to an article in today's Tennessean 6 million dollars for the Nashville East Corridor Commuter Rail project was approved by the US Senate last week. This is the line going to Wilson county. The article goes on to say that the project is scheduled to open "sometime this winter."

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...40368/1006/NEWS

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The Tennessean reported today that a riverfront parking lot will be closed starting monday for the construction of the new rail station for the Music City Star. Also it seems that the beginning of service has been pushed back to early next year.

The article:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...EWS09/507290395

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I just cant invision exactly where the tracks might be going into and out of river front. It will be a neat sight seing trains come and go though.

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I think the tracks will end directly under the Shelby Bridge. That's where the old dinner train stopped. It can't really go any further. But if you're on the Shelby Bridge, you can see the tracks clearly. I don't imagine there'll be much rail work here, just the station house. It'll be nice to see something under that bridge that's not peeing on something. ;)

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