State Senator Luke Kenley is quoted in a news story about the public transportation bill currently before the General Assembly.
“I have a surprisingly large number of constituents who are strongly opposed to this,” says Sen. Kenley (R-Noblesville.) “They just feel like it’s going to be a tax increase on them without any particular benefit.”
There are a number of responses that come to mind: the most obvious is that all the bill requires is an opportunity for the citizens who will be taxed to vote on the matter. Those opposed will have an opportunity to make that opposition known.
That said, the belief that those who wouldn’t use public transportation wouldn’t benefit from its availability is incredibly short-sighted. We all benefit from cleaner air, economic development and improved quality of life–all outcomes associated with the availability of good public transportation systems. The attitude displayed by Kenley’s constituents reminds me of people who don’t want to support good schools, because their own children are grown, despite ample evidence that a good school system adds to property values and an educated workforce is a requirement for economic development.
These are all tangible benefits that even the whiners will enjoy. But we might also wonder whether there isn’t some intangible benefit in creating a community that works for everyone, not just the self-satisfied “makers” with two cars parked in the garage of their suburban home in a gated community.