A solicitor stopped by my house a week or so ago pushing Illinois PIRG’s campaign to “save our transit.” They do have a report, funded by the “Illinois PIRG Education Fund” and prepared by Brian Imus, Nick Christensen, and Phineas Baxandall, that explains how they want us to pay more money for transit service.
The report notes that “Locations served by transit… show increased property values compared
to similar locations not served by transit.” Although they do cite sources for this assertion, they don’t refer to either of the Chicago studies which are (see footnotes 3 and 4 on page three of this). So then do they propose a tax on location value?
No surprises here. They proclaim “Seven Principles for Funding Transit:”
1-Enhance market efficiency
2-Low collection costs
5-Fare increases are self defeating
They do provide some discussion of each. Then they evaluate several potential sources of funding:
-Rental car tax
-(auto) License, registration or title fees
-Several other driving-related taxes
-Real estate development impact fees
-Real estate transfer tax
-Higher sales tax
-Extend sales tax to services
-Establish a real estate transfer tax, or maybe one of a few other taxes.
But although they acknowledge that transit service increases land value, there is no consideration of this option. Instead, they want to reduce economic efficiency by raisng taxes on economic activity.