Proposed MTA rate hikes are discriminatory.
The head of the Los Angeles County bus and rail system has proposed substantial increases in the fares that riders must pay. MTA Chief Executive Roger Snoble proposes increasing the base fare from $1.25 to $2.00, the Day Pass from $3 to $8, the monthly pass from $52 to $120 and several other increases.
The proposed monthly pass increase would make MTA just about the most expensive public transit system in the country. The proposed $8 Day Pass would result in no savings for most riders.
48% of bus riders have a household income of less than $15,000.
90% of the students who ride the bus are minorities.
The proposed rate hikes undeniably are discriminatory against the poor and minorities.
It’s bad enough that minority students are disadvantaged by the huge loss of time that riding the bus to and from school causes. The proposed rate hikes will further disadvantage them by placing an unfair financial burden on their families.
The MTA’s Executive Board has told Director Snoble that his job performance review would be based on his ability to quickly reduce the deficit under which the MTA is operating. In essence, Mr. Snoble has been told to recommend a rate hike or lose his job. This is an irresponsible tactic by those responsible for running the MTA.
There are better solutions to the MTA’s financial problems – such as increasing the county sales tax or the state gas tax. The Executive Board asked Mr. Snoble to propose a solution while limiting the possible solutions to cutting service or raising rates.
The burden of solving the MTA’s financial problems should reside with the city, county and state governments. Mr. Snoble should retract his rate hike recommendations as having been made as a result of the coercive environment of his job performance review process.
Jeff B. Mamet
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One of last month’s letter-writers seems to be a lucky man – and he is complaining.
It strikes him that “Senator H.R. Clinton…and her gang robs us of our inheritance dollars” by not killing the estate tax, re-labeled “death tax” by the Republicans’ expert on slanted language.
The fact is this, according to Citizens for Tax Justice: In 2004 about two and a quarter million Americans died and only 18,000 cases – the one in every 125 that exceeded $1,500,000 – even involved filing an estate tax return. Your writer must be that fortunate one.
What’s more, in even the largest estates – those over $20,000,000 – the actual federal tax ended up averaging 15.8 percent. That would appear to leave enough that the heirs will not be forced to become self-made men and women.
(There is one hint that the earlier letter was all a put-on: Its writer laments that “Clinton now wants to rob the oil companies of billions.” Wouldn’t THAT be a shame!)
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Action by Bobby Shriver, Jane Harman and others as reported by the Mirror is a step in the right direction. [“Congressman Pledges VA For Veterans,” April 5-11, 2007]
John M. Bohn, Chairman
Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce