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What a surprise... Jebbie proposes a massive $8.5B bond issue to give a handout to the folks who got him elected, right after he defeated a rail proposal that would have provided citizens with a sorely needed alternative to yet more paving over of Florida's landscape... Thanks for reminding me why I'm getting out of here Jeb.


Governor Proposes Billions For Roads


By JEROME R. STOCKFISCH [email protected]
Published: Apr 14, 2005



TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday proposed spending nearly $10 billion on transportation improvements during the next 10 years, while calling on local governments to pony up another $5.3 billion to solve school and water issues as the state's population continues to surge.

The governor's growth management plan calls for spending $1 billion in new cash this year on roads, with $8.5 billion in bonds covering the rest. Voters will have to approve the debt, likely in a referendum this fall.

The proposal puts pressure on local governments to ensure growth decisions are tied to the availability of schools, roads and water, a concept known as ``concurrency.'' The governor says communities have a combined $5.3 billion a year available in untapped taxes they could be collecting for infrastructure.

``Clearly, if we only reform growth management in terms of bringing a harder edge to the concurrency process and do not find new sources of money ... we would have serious, serious problems in the state,'' Bush said. ``Likewise, if we don't have a focus on policy reforms that have allowed our state to have significant deficits in infrastructure, then we're fooling ourselves.''

The local angle of the governor's plan largely mirrors growth management bills now moving through the state Senate. The legislation would allow communities that adopt certain growth rules to impose taxes that normally would require voter approval or a supermajority vote of a local board.

Where residential development occurs, schools and road capacity would have to be available or under construction within three years of approval of the development. Adequate water supplies would be required to be available at the time of local approval.

The issue of who picks up the tab for growth management has been hotly debated in Tallahassee, with some charging that state government is forcing county commissions and school boards to take the heat for higher taxes.

Bush denied his plan does that. Local governments do not have to make that call, he said, but if a major land-use change or development is approved, ``communities then need to make the determination that if we're going to do this, we have to have the funding sources available.''

Hillsborough County has staunchly resisted new home, gas and sales taxes despite its crowded streets and schools and water woes. Late Wednesday, County Commissioner Kathy Castor said approving tax increases under the plans advocated in Tallahassee would be ``tough going.''

Prior to the governor's afternoon news conference, Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, said he expected the governor's recommendation to be a ``starting point.''

Lee, a developer who has made growth management his chief priority, has suggested that the state is $35 billion behind in infrastructure demands. The Department of Transportation, meanwhile, says $23 billion is needed during the next 10 years just to maintain current road conditions.

Bush acknowledged the combined $15 billion in his state and local proposal is short of those numbers.

``The numbers are so big,'' he said. ``Our objective needs to be realistic, and we need to cut into the backlog that exists. As Florida begins to look more like Miami, and becomes more urbanized, the levels of services to citizens is going to change. That is a fact for our state.''



^That's only a "fact for our state" because Bush has mismanaged us into that position, by consistently cutting taxes for the rich, refusing to tie development to the funding needed for infrastructure to keep up with growth, and by opening up the state coffers for developers time and again. Today is no different.

(not like Bush is anything but one of a long line of moronic "leaders" to sell out the public to special interests, but he's the one in power today. He is the one with the ability to change things for the better (hell, he's on his term limits no less. He doesn't have to answer to anyone). Instead, he just perpetuated the very ills that got us in this position.)
 

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Where are you going? While the news sucks, it is like that in all too many places unfortunately, probably not to the magnitude of in Florida though.

Personal agendas have a way of ruining alot, and its a crying shame especially when much of what is done is all too permanant :-/.
 

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are you kidding me,the money we couldv'e spent from the rail line is going to be spent on roads.lol the bushes just crack me up.i hope our next governor is a democrat
------------------------------------------------------------
LEGISLATURE


Bush wants taxes for roads

Putting aside his no-tax mantra, Gov. Jeb Bush is recommending new taxes on local governments and a $9.5 billion state bond to pay for roads.

BY MARY ELLEN KLAS

[email protected]


on his long-standing demand that local tax

increases be approved by voters

Gov. Jeb Bush broke a Republican impasse Wednesday over who would come up with a new source of money to build roads, schools and water systems, announcing that he would ''put aside'' his long-standing opposition to borrowing and ask voters statewide to approve $9.5 billion in bonds.

In his announcement, Bush also abandoned another core value: Requiring cities and counties to get voter approval before raising new taxes, which he said would provide an additional $5.3 billion.

The governor, who has built his career on lowering taxes and resisting borrowing, said he has concluded that the state's fractured growth planning system can't be fixed by tougher state laws but also needs an infusion of new cash to help unclog roads, build new schools and pay for new water systems.

''I am prepared to put aside a deeply held belief, to be honest with you, about voter approval,'' Bush said, referring to his long-standing demand that every local tax increase be approved by voters.

He said the untapped tax sources are available to local governments but have been inaccessible because voters have rejected new taxes or county officials have failed to seek approval for them. Bush said the biggest offenders have been Miami-Dade and Broward counties, which could generate nearly 30 percent of the $5.3 billion.

The governor's proposal breaks an impasse between him and the leaders of the House and Senate, who were leery of publicly proposing a new source of state money that could be considered a tax. But Bush's proposal is not guaranteed to pass, with the 60-day Legislative session having passed the halfway mark.

Senate President Tom Lee has questioned the wisdom of borrowing -- and wondered whether it's wise to support nearly $500 million in tax cuts that the governor seeks at the same time. Lee has demanded a dedicated, year-in-year-out source of money to pay for growth management.

Also, the governor's proposal doesn't guarantee that local governments will want to pass new taxes -- with or without the support of voters.

The governor's plan would give county governments the ability to collectively raise up to $1.1 billion for new roads, $1.8 billion for new schools and another $1.4 billion for general growth-related needs.

The proposal is most aggressive at tackling the state's $23 billion backlog in road needs. Bush's plan would use $1 billion in cash this year and next, from a windfall in state revenues, followed by a 10-year bond to pay for a $9.5 billion road-building program. The bonding authority would have to be approved by voters statewide, and Bush suggests a special election be held this November.

''The voters of this state, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, will support increases in taxes for infrastructure,'' the governor said at a press conference Wednesday.

``They may not support bigger government. They will support roads -- to make it easier to drop their children off at school and to go to work. And they obviously will support increases in school construction to deal with the overcrowding in their community.''

The governor conceded, however, that even the nearly $15 billion he is pursuing ``is still not enough.''

''The deficits have been mounting over a generation of time,'' he said. ``They exist. They're real and they're going to create hardships for the next generation.''

The proposal is the latest attempt by the governor to bridge the gap between the House and Senate over finding money to pay for the state's growth needs.

Senate President Lee has vowed to resist any plan that fails to include a state revenue source to pay for what he believes is a $35 billion backlog in services.

The issue is a top priority of Lee's, but he has failed to offer a state tax proposal.

Meanwhile, the stalemate over growth management has prompted Lee to delay discussions over the $500 million tax cut plan pushed by Bush and House leaders and has stalled budget negotiations.

House Speaker Allan Bense said his chamber will ''not vote for new taxes'' but would be willing to use about $400 million of the state's surplus money to pay for growth needs and would consider redirecting existing tax revenues into a special roads or schools account.

Bush said he would reject any attempt to raise the state sales tax to pay for growth. But he is attempting to meet Lee halfway by offering to use state revenues to pay off bonds for a decade into the future.

Lee said the governor's plan falls short and could lead to budget problems in the future.

''Our number is somewhere in the $35 billion range,'' he said. ``Can we get there this year? Probably not.''

The governor's proposal also attempts to tighten the rules by which local communities may approve new development, requiring them to have a pay-as-you-go system in place that identifies money sources for the roads, schools and water systems every development needs.

''The plans must be financially feasible,'' Bush said. ``That means there has to be real money behind them. They can't just be pie in the sky.''

The governor's plan would requires counties, schools and cities to making the following changes:

• Local governments and school boards would be required to plan for a growing student population and have their schools built within three years from approval of a new development.

• Roads would have to be available or under construction within three years from approval of a new development.

• Local governments must ensure that adequate water supplies are available at the time of a local development's approval.

Herald staff writers Marc Caputo and Gary Fineout contributed to this report.
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/11388109.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
are you kidding me,the money we couldv'e spent from the rail line is going to be spent on roads.lol the bushes just crack me up.i hope our next governor is a democrat
I don't care if the next governor is purple and from Mars, just so long as he isn't on his knees in a gangbang with the development lobby.

And building roads isn't all bad. Clearly alot of the state's high growth areas need some roads, because they're not yet ready for anything beyond bus transit at most... But Bush himself claims this initiative is about the urban counties, and the need for them to better manage growth... Sorry Jebbie, but most of the urban counties don't need roads, we need alternatives to roads, aka; rail transit.

Clearly, this is just window dressing. The odds of a massive bond issue to build roads getting passed by voters is slim (I sure won't approve it)... And the local counties passing all of these new taxes and thus committing political suicide is absolutely comical...Bush clearly wants to act like he gives a toss, when we all know for a fact that he doesn't. His record painfully proves that.
 

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It's a joke. As long as there is legislation that isn't voter passed -- then he is full well willign to fund it.

Class sizes? No chance! Jeb! doesn't want that ammendment or to actually (gasp!) fund education! High speed rail?!? Bah! Hwo will his oil buddies and other insider buddies react to having TRAINS in this state?!? It's Absurd! More roads! More fo the Time! Florida!® -- Bush© Style!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
^Same thing with the minimum wage law and the preschool thing...

[edit] sorry. I don't want us to get into politics in here beyond how it relates to development and infrastrcuture... my comment in this post is a no-no.
 

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Well, I am of two minds about this - first, I wish tehre was local rail - that idiotic high speed plan should have died. Second:

''The plans must be financially feasible,'' Bush said. ``That means there has to be real money behind them. They can't just be pie in the sky.''

The governor's plan would requires counties, schools and cities to making the following changes:

• Local governments and school boards would be required to plan for a growing student population and have their schools built within three years from approval of a new development.

• Roads would have to be available or under construction within three years from approval of a new development.

• Local governments must ensure that adequate water supplies are available at the time of a local development's approval.
That's called growth management. Everyone is always complaining about inadequate infrastructure - well it lacks rail but everything else is there. The fact taht everyone is complaining about it shows that it is less the substance and more the messenger . . . Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles never even considered such an idea as real concurrency . . .
 

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The road thing should come as no suprise. The guy is a hypocrite and that's what hypocrites do. I knew it was a pipe dream when many were talking about killing the high speed rail proposal and hoping some of that money would be used for local rail.

I'll be waiting for it to make it on the next ballot so I can vote it down, because spending $9.5 billion, only on roads, is a lot more absurd then building a state-wide bullet train.
 

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Well, I was all about the train, but we do desperately need roads, lots and lots of them actually, a lot more than 10 billion will fund. This is why trains are effective, because they are a cheaper short term solution while we get that extra 100 billion or so we really need together to build all the roads we'll need over the next 20 to 30 years. In the mean time we'll have rampant congestion holding the economy back and no alternatives whatsover outside of S. FL
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
smiley said:
That's called growth management. Everyone is always complaining about inadequate infrastructure - well it lacks rail but everything else is there. The fact taht everyone is complaining about it shows that it is less the substance and more the messenger . . . Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles never even considered such an idea as real concurrency . . .
I don't see how drawing up unfunded laws is worth jack. So, Bush takes credit for the "concurrency" plan, but forces local pols to suffer the consequences of enacting his plan?.. That's highly disingenuous and rather cowardly IMO. Bush wants the glory, but doesn't have the balls to do the dirty work his plan requires himself.

And besides, this "plan" of Bush's is wickedly flawed, perhaps even corrupt some could say... He proposes forcing existing residents to pay for the infrastructure required to support new growth. Why do existing residents have to hand out a subsidy to new residents? There is already a very effective method to make new growth pay for itself...impact fees. But this plan doesn't use impact fees, and in fact Bush is working to reduce impact fees via the Legislature (because that's what his development pals want)... Instead, Bush wants existing residents to fund new growth by jacking up thier sales taxes and gas taxes, and inevitably property taxes... This does developers a huge favor, and sticks it to the folks who have been here suffering the ills of growth all along...

The only way I would approve of this measure if it was not for new growth, but rather was for existing urban boundaries only (for infill and urbanization). I will not willingly spend a dime to help perpetuate the very sprawl and its subsidy that got us in this mess.
 

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sarasotan said:
Well, I was all about the train, but we do desperately need roads, lots and lots of them actually, a lot more than 10 billion will fund. ................... In the mean time we'll have rampant congestion holding the economy back and no alternatives whatsover outside of S. FL
in my opinion,this problem should've been resolved and not even an issue if our government would of built rail lines many years ago,now its to late and traffic is to much of an issue to continue to ignore it.but yet till this day no city other miami has even really gotten close,although oil is running out soon and gas prices are through the roof our cities continue to sprawl,grow and not even consider mass transportation.

now time to critcize dade county,right now gas prices are $2.52 here in miami since gas prices began to rise last year reports suggested how metrorail ridership was increasing, as soon as dadecounty heard of this they decided to rise prices for the fares how moronic is that :bash: why not keep the same prices to intise riders.
 

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ATampaArnold said:
Either Jeb is the dumbest man or the most corrupt, and could very well be both.
A Tampa Arnold :) , I couldn't say it any better. You just took the same words out of my mouth, and for his brother in the white house, one word, " brainless ". :bash:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Mad Hatter!! said:
now time to critcize dade county,right now gas prices are $2.52 here in miami since gas prices began to rise last year reports suggested how metrorail ridership was increasing, as soon as dadecounty heard of this they decided to rise prices for the fares how moronic is that :bash: why not keep the same prices to intise riders.

Nah. I say raise prices to help pay for higher fuel costs (doesn't TriRail run on diesel?), and to also help fill the coffers to help fund expansion. So long as gas keeps going up, a reasonable increase in transit fares will still be more attractive than paying for a car and all of its costs.
 

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Jasonhouse said:
oh, and if Bush really wanted to do something useful, he would have proposed this concurrency plan, and dually propose jacking up impact fees and permitting fees by about 300% to fund it.
Impact/permitting fees are already pretty high in many parts of the state. Increasing them 3x could mean $40,000+ fees for a typical 4 bed 3 bath suburban tract home. No thanks, I'll take a brand new Mercedes instead.
 

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^Well, then they will tax it out of us, so you still don't get the Benz. Money doesn't come from thin air to pay for things. So, it's either tax those requiring the infrastrcuture, or have every one else pay and subsidize new growth. There flat out is no third option.
 

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Wow, what a perfect plan by Jeb. As soon as he got rid our high speed rail, up pops his new road plan which he knows no one can say no to because we need it. So of course people will forget how this will cost more than a new rail system and think he's saving our state.
 

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Much as you guys hate to face the reality of it "he" (Jeb) did not get rid of anything - the voters repealed the high speed rail - including me, not because I oppose high speed rail but because I oppose Disney rail, which is what it was going to be. They could have kept it regardless of what Jeb thought. They got rid of it. Put your blame where it belongs. . . Then go out and work to get an Proposition calling for local rail in Ft.L, TB, Orl, and Jax. and see if you can pass it. . .

And then remember that Orlando voted down rail and roads, and Sarasota through away a STATE offer for a rail right of way, and that Hillsborough COUNTY won't have a vote on rail, and so on and so forth . . . and then start thinking how to convince VOTERS to agree with you instead of just calling them backward ******** (in fact, a quick survey will show that rail as a concept is getting quite popular in other ******* states) . . .

And to be honest - I want extra lanes on my freeways because as it stands they are wholly inadequate and will only become less adequate - whether you build rail or not . . .
 

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Unfortunately extra lanes on your freeways won't solve a thing because its too little to late. You would be better served building a series of gridded two lane roads to diffuse traffic congestion, by providing several alternative routes. I said it once and I'll say it again. Spending massive amounts of money, only on roads isn't the answer and at this point won't even be a band-aid for our problems.

This isn't just about the cost of high speed rail. Its about our leaders not having the vision to correctly deal with our state's growth problems. Imo, BRT, commuter rail, high speed rail, better bus transit, revising zoning, higher impact fees, better road layouts, etc. should all be seriously considered before blowing billions way on road construction.

BTW, it was hypocritical of the governor crying about the costs of the class size amendment and high speed rail, claiming they would bankrupt the state and that we would have to implement new state taxes. How is spending nearly 10 billion ONLY on road construction going to be any different?
 
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