Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cal Pushed Out

Cal Marsella, architect of the FasTracks financing program, was pushed out of RTD by the forces that want to engineer the second largest tax increase in the state’s modern history – another 0.04 percentage point increase in the RTD sales tax for 55 percent of the state’s voters (metro area).

Marsella had become the target for critics of the transit agency’s shaky financing scheme that had made massive promises in an effort to attract regional political and voter support, but was only able to increase the sales tax to fund about half the program. The 0.04 percentage point increase in 2004 was the largest sales tax election up to that time ($160 million collected annually).

Getting rid of Marsella, who most people believed did a capable job managing the agency, may deflect some short-term criticism, but size of the tax increase and the unrealistic promises and projections are likely to be a drag on the agency and tax increase proponents regardless of who takes over.

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