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BART on track to hit 'fiscal cliff' by March 2025, per preliminary budget

Original post made on Apr 17, 2023

BART is on track to run out of federal relief funds by March 2025, with estimated operating deficits of more than $300 million per year over the next several years, according to the transit agency's preliminary budget.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, April 16, 2023, 4:32 PM

Comments (3)

Posted by Paul Clark
a resident of Danville
on Apr 17, 2023 at 9:36 am

Paul Clark is a registered user.

BART's problems stem from the fact that the Pandemic caused a sea change in how people work. No amount of budget cuts can fix the problem for BART. People will not return to commuting to SF and Oakland any time in the foreseeable future. On top of public transit, I believe we will see a huge contraction in the Commercial Real Estate Market, coupled with the continued exodus of people with the means to do so, deciding to leave the State. One of our family members has relocated to Northern Nevada. No state income tax, low property taxes, excellent schools, all the things that have fallen by the wayside in California.

Posted by Mike Arata
a resident of Danville
on Apr 18, 2023 at 5:06 pm

Mike Arata is a registered user.

Contra Costa readers should note that they’re paying two BART property taxes and a half-percent BART sales tax, whether or not they ever ride BART trains.

Look next to Transparent California’s listing of public-agency salaries and benefits and note that you have to get to employee number 859 before the salary + benefit total drops below $200,000 ( Web Link ).

Like other local public agencies — including SRVUSD and other school districts — BART routinely cries poverty until it’s time for the next salary and benefit increase.

In its 2016 bond campaign, BART was able to get its tax-increase initiative specially labeled as “Measure RR.” Get it? Measure RailRoad.

Taxpayers were railroaded indeed. As local attorney Jason Bezis observed — and complained officially to the Fair Political Practices Commission — BART spent public funds to promote Measure RR. The FPPC finally fined the agency a mere $7,500 (apparently paid with taxpayer dollars) for failing to report its campaign funding (for a campaign which BART wasn’t legally permitted to fund). See Web Link .

And that didn’t occur until 2 years after Measure RR had passed.

Tax spending by public agencies for “public education” campaigns — to supply more new taxes — is a common problem. To the extent it supports a “yes” vote, it’s also illegal. Yet the agencies are seldom punished; and in the few occasions when they are, the individual schemers at fault do not wind up going to jail or even paying the fines.

A related problem is the behind-scenes reliance of public agencies on their current and prospective vendors of goods and services for most of their campaign funding (likely as shakedowns). Those vendors then benefit from the new spending afforded by the new taxes (i.e., kickbacks). So far, unfortunately, that’s “legal.”

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2023 at 5:02 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

I still commute to SF when I'm not working from home. I had a choice prior to the pandemic. If I have to pay taxes on BART, I'm using it. I'd probably take BART anyway. There are less riders, and I like it.

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