The entire story is here.
Amtrak may move its Beech Grove maintenance facility and more than 600 local jobs to Michigan, according to Beech Grove Mayor Joe Wright.
Beech Grove may lose Amtrak facility to Michigan
Posted 10 June 2005 - 08:31 PM
OTOL Board Leader
Posted 11 June 2005 - 01:05 AM
Posted 11 June 2005 - 03:19 PM
Edited by AmtrakFan, 11 June 2005 - 03:19 PM.
Posted 11 June 2005 - 05:06 PM
Posted 12 June 2005 - 04:56 PM
Local officials have good reason to be pissed that congress is allowing Amtrak to forgo taxes. If there is any reasonable hope of finding a tax paying employer for the site the locals should ask the freeloader to vacate.
Here I have to respectfully disagree.
As a rule, government facilities are off the property tax rolls, everywhere, not just Beech Grove. Now, if we're arguing Amtrak isn't a government agency -- strictly speaking, it isn't -- I would be less inclined to disagree.
What the mayor is missing here is the concept of "offsets." Sure, Amtrak doesn't pay taxes. Their employees, do, shop in Beech Grove, buy homes in Beech Grove, and otherwise pay taxes. If there are no employees, ultimately Beech Grove will have to foot the bill in one form or another for their unemployment. I'm not just talking about unemployment compensation; Amtrak's departure from Beech Grove would have far-reaching consequences this guy really hasn't thought through, IMO.
OTOH, if Hizzoner has thought through the consequences, and wants rid of Amtrak, I say, "great."
If you were locating an Amtrak car shop today, where would you put it? Discuss.
Posted 12 June 2005 - 06:32 PM
Edited by ICGsteve, 12 June 2005 - 06:48 PM.
Posted 13 June 2005 - 09:28 AM
Posted 15 June 2005 - 02:16 PM
Sam, Amtrak does pump money into the local economy but they also take. Amtrak is not paying its fair share of the costs of services that it uses. It is not paying the costs for the police, fire, roads, ect ect that local government instead must collect from other tax sources.
It is true that the federal government never pays taxes, and I have no problem calling Amtrak a federal agency (it should be), but the feds always have an obligation to soak up some of the costs. On large tracks of federal land the feds pay for roads and have federal police and fire services. Cities that are near military bases have several programs which pump money into local government agencies to compensate for the cost associated with the federal property.
In the case of BG, it is clear that local public officials feel that the feds are not giving them a fair shake. I assume that they have a valid reason to reach this conclusion. Still, they should not want to send Amtrak packing unless they are sure that they can get a tax paying owner for the property. Amtrak is indead better than nothing.
If we were to decide to make Amtrak into a first world national railroad and thus would want a large major maintainace center I absolutely would locate it in Michigan. The area was for generations the center of the nation's auto industry. Now that America is steadily losing its auto industry there are loads of skilled and hard working craftsmen unemployed, and large plots of land with empty factories on them ready for use. Amtrak would have little trouble creating an operation 50 times the capacity of BG in Michigan. There would be major costs involved to turn auto factories into train factories, but in the end it would be a bargain.
I would say the ideal spot in Michigan would be Lansing since GM has shut down all but 1 plant and they already have tracks going to these plant's with small yards.
Save Our Trains Michigan web site
LOOK LISTEN LIVE BEFORE CROSSING RR TRACKS
Posted 16 June 2005 - 06:05 PM
The full story is here.
Amtrak future in area clouded
Workers at the Amtrak maintenance facility in Beech Grove again fear for their jobs.
This time, they worry that the 640 jobs at the rail yard, one of two in the nation that repair Amtrak trains, could be moved to Michigan.
New York, NY/Philadelphia, PA
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