by John A. Charles, Jr.
Testimony before the Multnomah County Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission
Regarding the TriMet Proposed FY 11 Budget
May 25, 2010
TriMet asserts that the proposed FY 11 budget adheres to principles of good budgeting and financial planning because “revenues and expenditures are in balance” and the budget“incorporates a long term perspective” (page 2).
This is disingenuous. The only “long term perspective” being offered by TriMet is the continued practice of pushing debt payments off to the future. The problem is that eventually the future arrives, and someone has to pay. TriMet is creating a regressive, intergenerational burden by hiding more than $1.2 billion in expenses.
TriMet must confront the two major cost drivers that are out of control: (1) employee fringe benefits; and (2) rail construction projects.
John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.