Monday, November 17, 2008

Taxes are an investment

All those low taxes over the years are staring to take a toll on our infrastructure and competitiveness. Our lack of investment in transportation will cost us jobs over the next 20 years:
Transportation woes could cost Georgia 320,000 potential jobs and $515 billion in economic benefits over the next 20 years if the state sticks to “business as usual,” according to a new state report released Thursday.

Traffic jams and the lack of access to reliable transportation in metro Atlanta will increasingly limit the number of jobs people can commute to, and the number of potential workers an employer can expect to attract, according to the study presented to the state Transportation Board...

“Over the last 10 to 20 years, Georgia has under-managed and under-invested in its assets,” according to the report.
Increasingly, I am wondering if the City of Atlanta can just keep doing its own thing. Will the greater metro region's inactivity mean that business and residents will keep moving in-town where there is enough infrastructure and transportation options, or will the entire region suffer? As much as I hope the former, I suspect it is the latter. The city would also have to speed up the timeline for its infrastructure projects to really take advantage of the mess going on in the suburbs. This is a polite way of saying build the transit on the damn BeltLine already!

The biggest problem with our infrastructure needs, of course, relate to funding:
...the state would have to invest up to $250.7 billion over 20 years in transportation. That’s $49.2 billion to $161.9 billion short of money government officials currently expect to have to spend.
Good luck with that. We'll need to tax someone, I guess, although I'm beginning to get a bit more interested in those public-private infrastructure deals the GOP keeps floating.

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