By Ted Slowik
DuPage County Board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom is pushing legislators to approve a half-cent increase in sales tax in order to generate a local revenue source to pay for public transportation improvements. Do you buy it?
On the one hand, there is merit in a proposal that would allow local authorities to capture federal revenue which otherwise would be forfeited due to lack of matching funds. And it's a lousy situation when CTA, Metra and Pace compete against each other for the limited share of state funding available for public transportation.
But is public transportation the best use for a higher sales tax, if it's approved? Given our love of automobiles, would it be better to put that money toward highway infrastructure maintenance and improvements, especially in light of the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota?