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Residents Association of Greater Lake Mathews

RAGLM Board > General Discussion > Cost of "High Speed Rail" Goes From $45 Billion To $100 Billion/Senator Runner
11/29/2011 10:06:13 PM
Cost of "High Speed Rail" Goes From $45 Billion To $100 Billion/Senator RunnerPost: Cindy Ferry
This is one of the reasons I no longer vote "Yes" on these things. You are told one amount and then it turns out much, much higher in the long run. Looks like they want you to dig a little deeper into those pockets of yours. I don't know about you but, I'm feeling a little kicked in the teeth ... and I voted "No." Those of you that voted "Yes" must be feeling used. I think you were.
You might want to check out some of the other links he has on his page.
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As your elected member of the California State Board of Equalization, I am fighting to ensure your voice is heard in Sacramento. As always, I welcome your ideas about how we can work together to solve the pressing problems facing our state.

High Speed Rail: What Do You Think?


California's High Speed Rail Authority recently unveiled a revised business plan aimed at bringing high speed rail to our state.

You can find my opinion below, but I'd also like to know what you think. Please take a moment to complete the following survey:

  • Do you support the State of California's plan to build a high speed rail system?

  • Do you think Californians should get to vote on the revised plan?

To take the survey, click on this link or the image on the right.

You are also welcome to submit your comments directly to the High Speed Rail Authority via its website.

My View: Californians Should Get Another Vote on High Speed Rail

Imagine you found the house of your dreams. The price is $450,000. You sign papers only to later learn the sellers made a mistake. The price for the house is actually $1 million. Fortunately, under California real estate law, you can back out of the deal. But if you were a California voter buying a train instead of a house, you might be out of luck.


Proposed Route for California's $98 Billion

High Speed Rail System

In November 2008 California voters narrowly approved—by a vote of 52.7% to 47.3%— Proposition 1A. The measure authorizes nearly $20 billion in state spending to establish high-speed train service linking Southern California counties, the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

At the time, the entire project was expected to cost about $45 billion. Proponents claimed funds from other public and private sources would cover the project’s remaining costs.

Tom McClintock, Jon Coupal and I co-authored the opposition ballot argument. We called the measure a “boondoggle” that “could cost $90 billion—the most expensive railroad in history.” We warned that no one really knew how much the project would ultimately cost.

After years of waste and mismanagement, California’s High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has finally admitted what critics like us warned all along: “Building the entire system will take longer and cost more than previously estimated.”

In fact, the price tag for this risky transit gamble is now nearly $100 billion—more than twice the original estimate. The new number is greater than California’s entire annual state budget. To fund the entire project today, every Californian, including men, women and children, would need to write a check for more than $2500.


Special Report: Inside Amber Alert


Watch George Runner on California's Amber Alert system

In 2002 I authored legislation creating California's Amber Alert system. Since then the program has been even more successful at reuniting abducted children with their parents than we had anticipated. To date more than 200 children have been rescued with the assistance of California's Amber Alert system.

Fresno's CBS 47 recently broadcast a a special report on how the Amber Alert system is saving lives. I invite you to watch the report to learn more about this important life-saving program.

For more information about California's Amber Alert program, see also www.chp.ca.gov/amber.

Enterprise Zones Keynote

I recently had the privilege of addressing the California Association of Enterprise Zones at their annual meeting in Rancho Cordova. I discussed my firsthand experience with enterprise zones and their important role in California's job creation and retention efforts.

My remarks are available on my Youtube page or by clicking on the image below.

Watch George Runner on California jobs and enterprise zones

Tax Tip of the Month

Q. When I place an order from a retailer in Los Angeles, do I really owe 8.75% in sales tax? The sales tax rate where I live is much lower.

A. No. When goods are shipped or delivered to you, the retailer should charge either the statewide sales tax rate (currently 7.25%) or your local sales tax rate. Some retailers incorrectly charge tax based upon the location of their business, charging you as much as 2% more than required.

For more information, please see BOE Publication 105, District Taxes and Delivered Sales.

In the News

Note: The first article below provides an interesting perspective to consider when shopping this holiday season.

Shopping local keeps sales taxes supporting city (Orange County Register, 11/20/11)

Our Voice: Tips should not be subject to state sales tax (Desert Sun, 11/25/11)

Final holiday season for tax-free online shopping in California? (KABC-TV, 11/24/11)

State board approves higher rural fire fee (KABC-TV, 11/10/11)

Amazon offers to serve as tax collector — for a price (Los Angeles Times, 11/3/11)

California Businesses Warned to Beware of Misleading Business Solicitations (News Blaze, 11/2/11)

What is the California State Board of Equalization? (Time Warner Local Edition, 10/28/11)

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For more information, please visit www.boe.ca.gov/Runner.

Cindy Ferry
Proud Member of RAGLM
Unity of Community, Supporting the Rural Way of Life
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