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Friday, March 21, 2008

Kalin’s Latest on Transportation: Part 1

Rep. Jeremy Kalin (D-17B) once again justifies the transportation bill in his March 20th column in the Chisago County Press and in the Post Review.

Reacting to criticisms that the T bill is the largest tax increase in state history, he dismisses them as "grandiose claims" because he doesn’t like having that pinned on his donkey behind. He asserts the $934 million fee increase for the 2006-07 biennium holds the record. Sadly, he doesn’t seem to realize $934 million for a biennium is less than $660 million for a year. Putting it another way, $1.32 billion for a biennium does exceed $934 million for a biennium.

Next he makes a distinction between bonding and new taxes so the $660 million T bill won’t cost us that now much because part of it is bonding. Bonding will increase taxes if the value of the new bonds exceeds the value of the old bonds being retired by the state. But even if the bonding does not increase taxes, it will still be paid by our tax dollars. That’s what matters.

Kalin didn’t like Pawlenty’s distinction between fees and taxes. However, now he wants to make a distinction between bonding and taxes to create the same perception he didn’t want Pawlenty to make. If he didn’t like Pawlenty’s word games, why should we like Kalin’s word games?

To attempt to lead us to believe that state bonding does not increase taxes is deceitful. Paying for some of the T bill through bonding actually increases the $660 million cost because interest over the life of the bond will be added to the principal. In the end, it will actually take more tax dollars to pay for the T bill through bonding than the pay-as-you-go method.

Kalin loves to obfuscate the truth.

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