FLgov.com: Feb 16th 2011; Tallahassee, Fla. – After thoughtful consideration, Governor Rick Scott informed U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood of the state’s decision to reject President Obama’s Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail project. [...]
- First – capital cost overruns from the project could put Florida taxpayers on the hook for an additional $3 billion.
- Second – ridership and revenue projections are historically overly-optimistic and would likely result in ongoing subsidies that state taxpayers would have to incur. (from $300 million – $575 million over 10 years) – Note: The state subsidizes Tri-Rail $34.6 million a year while passenger revenues covers only $10.4 million of the $64 million annual operating budget.
- Finally – if the project becomes too costly for taxpayers and is shut down, the state would have to return the $2.4 billion in federal funds to D.C.
Good for Governor Scott. It is bad enough Obama is recking tanking the nation's finances, but with the high speed rail scheme, he is importing the fiscal irresponsibility. Just like the stimulus spending, the high speed rail scheme forces states to spend money they simply do not have. Hopefully, more governors will start rejecting the Fed's irresponsibility.