by Art Woolf
1. Anne Galloway at VTDigger reports
Vermont’s transportation system faces an annual shortfall of $240 million over the next five years. A new report predicts the average gap between the state’s annual funding sources, roughly $457 million, and the cost of paying for basic infrastructure needs, estimated at $700 million per year.
This year alone Vermont will see a roughly $30 million gap in state transportation revenues, according to Rep. Patrick Brennan, the chair of the House Transportation Committee.
In the stories that have reported on this, no one seems to have mentioned that each year about $30 million in purchase and use tax revenues -- one-third of the tax you pay when you buy a new or used vehicle -- goes to the education fund, not the transportation fund. A good example of how Vermont's high level of spending on K-12 education starves other functions of government.
2. A consultant's report found that
Burlington International Airport needs to professionalize and streamline its management structure in order to remain a thriving regional airport....It says the airport has failed to reach its “full potential” because its governing structure is inefficient and it lacks “qualified management resources.”...It says the airport has been poorly managed in several respects. It “does not maintain adequate programs and management expertise in the areas of property management, marketing, air service development, economic development, strategic planning and financial management.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the status quo.
Here's a thought: The City of Burlington, which owns the airport (despite it being located in South Burlington) should consider selling it. Other countries have privatized airports, as well as other types of infrastructure. The airport would be better managed, improve the local economy, and the City could use the revenues to pay down its Burlington Telecom debt.
The chances of this happening? A cold day in hell comes to mind.