Regarding the June 10 Columbian story “Light rail: Blight or bliss?,” one major component that was excluded involves the fact that the property values study is incomplete.
Because it does not include situations where the rail lines were extended to neighboring states with completely different tax structures.
In this case, 65,000 Vancouver-Clark County commuters will be forced to pay anywhere between $2,000 to $4,000 annually, either for tolls or rail passes, to finance the light rail and bridge. If that were taken into account, demand for property on the Washington side will plummet.
Don’t believe me? Look up the demographic shifts nationally over the past 10 years; states that have much lower costs (i.e. no income taxes and right-to-work laws) have increased in population to the point where they have received greater U.S. congressional representation.
States with highest taxes (which is, in effect, what the bridge costs passed on to commuters will be) lost considerable amounts of population.
Consumers and businesses understand their own interests as well as their ability to pay.
Demanding that Washington state residents working in Oregon fork over additional, significant amounts in transport costs, on top of Oregon income tax for commuters, will destroy demand for property on this side of the river and thus values.