2016 budget requires no state "bailout," says CTA prez in letter

CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. last week made his case for "consistent" state funding for the transit agency in a letter to the Chicago Tribune:

Some have recently — and mistakenly — suggested that CTA’s 2016 spending plan requires a “bailout” from Springfield. That’s simply not true. As we have for the last 31 years, we are budgeting in the same way as our partners at Metra and Pace: according to the law that spells out how tax dollars are assigned to the region’s three transit agencies. . . .

A stable, reliable statutory formula that does not have to be renewed each year has allowed more than 1.6 million riders each day to know they can count on the CTA. CTA does not need, nor is it seeking, anything beyond following the letter, and the spirit, of the 1983 legislation.

This is a good approach in demanding that the state meet its obligation to CTA riders across the area.

But only time will tell if the legislature and governor see it that way too. At this point, it appears another state income tax increase would be necessary to continue the funding the CTA says it is entitled to.

We'll see if lawmakers and Bruce Rauner have the stomach for that.


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  • You have really misconstrued this one.

    The funding formula is from the Retailers' Occupational (Sales) Tax in Article 4 of the RTA Act, It has nothing to do with the state income tax. But I guess you are in the Preckwinkle and Emanuel camps of "just raise any tax without reforms, and blame it on pensions." BTW, CTA does not have this excuse, as the Real Estate Transfer Tax was increased to cover that.

    Whar's new, and takes Carter out of the Daley/Emanuel Camp is his statement "A stable, reliable statutory formula that does not have to be renewed each year has allowed more than 1.6 million riders each day to know they can count on the CTA." Somehow I remember a Carole Brown campaign for "funding," Tony Copolletta complaining that the tax rate in the collar counties was lower, the doctored 81% of rides statistic, the 2008 sales tax increase and change to the funding formula, CTA and Metra complaining that paratransit gets funded off the top, and Claypool fighting with Metra and Pace over the last cent of discretionary funds. Maybe after the Hartney Oil decision, the RTA tax money is staying in the RTA region, and Carter no longer has anything to complain about. Claypool can misrepresent the school funding formula, instead.

  • In reply to jack:

    I get your point Jack. My point is that the state would have to raise the income tax just to fund all the things they must fund.

  • In reply to Kevin O’Neil:

    So why link it to a nonexistent transit crisis? Why end the piece with " At this point, it appears another state income tax increase would be necessary to continue the funding the CTA says it is entitled to" when your reply indicates that's specious? And what reforms does the lakefront Democratic machine offer to assure that any tax increase is not urinated away, as it usually is (like Pat Quinn's lame duck session one)?

  • I think it's time we bring back the debtors prisons. Any state senator or representative that has served in the past 20 years should be tossed into the prison. If any of us failed to live up to our financial responsibilities like these clowns, we'd be staring at iron bars.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Probably can put them in the conventional prisons. Undoubtedly plenty of Derrick Smiths in the chamber. The real crime, though, is that they have abdicated their responsibilities to court orders. During the Blago years, they kept returning to try to pass a budget, but now nothing.

    Despite what Kevin says, Carter seems real grateful that the RTA has an independent tax base instead of being dependent on the state income tax.

  • In reply to jack:

    IMHO, the conventional prisons are too nice. We need to create a real sh*thole prison for them. Rats. Roaches.No hot water. Straw mattresses. None of that Club Fed crap.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    There's always Stateville, if state prosecutors ever prosecuted for political corruption, but they don't.

  • In reply to jack:

    Menard & Pontiac are far worse than Stateville.

  • I'm starting to see it your way.

    What other recourse do we have against elected officials who refused to make necessary decisions? (I'm not saying what the decisions should have been...I'm saying they avoided making choices in a cowardly pretense of satisfying everyone, instead of honestly confronting what the options are, and ended up putting everyone between a rock and a hard place.)

    Well, there's not voting for them, but what if some of us already tried that?

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice" - Rush (the band, not Limbaugh).

    I disagree that they were trying to satisfy everyone. They don't have to satisfy everyone, because everyone doesn't vote for them, or keep them in office. They knew exactly who they were making happy with their non-choices.

    If you rob a bank at gunpoint, you'll do hard time in prison. If you bankrupt a state by mismanaging the finances, you continue to get elected to office, and may likely get elected to a higher office.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    The real problem is indicated in my reference to conventional prison. Madigan only has to satisfy Madigan, which is somewhat assured by having his stepdaughter as the Attorney General. Note, for instance, his meddling in Metra, having a son in law working for the RTA, and the story today about him being implicated in the Redflex matter. Similarly, it is apparently o.k. that Burke is involved in tax appeals, especially since his wife is on the Supreme Court. Of course, since they make the laws, nothing they do is illegal.

    I made a reference to the 49th Ward in Chicago Political Commentary, but I'll leave it there.

  • In reply to jack:

    Lisa was adopted by Madigan, so she's not a stepdaughter.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    She ain't his seed. I don't think she was a Korean orphan, either. Since she is the AG, she can legally be whatever she wants.


  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    Note, you didn't use Bush 41's "no new taxes" as the Illinois politicians are piling up on the existing ones.

  • In reply to ibilldavis:

    Generally speaking I would echo this sentiment. However, there is one tax that should be raised, and should *have* been raised years ago, and that's the national gas tax. For some bizarro world reason the tax was never indexed for inflation, and the gutless turds in Washington are scared sh*tless to raise any tax, even though the Highway Trust Fund is basically insolvent. At a *minimum*, raise the thing a nickle. I'd like to see it raised $0.50 to $1.00 a gallon, as gas prices are very low. Use the money to fix the crumbling bridges and highways, and expand public transportation. Transportation should not be a partisan topic, especially when the infrastructure is crumbling below our feet.

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