It's called trust


Published: Saturday, March 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 28, 2003 at 9:57 p.m.
Doug Callaway, president of Floridians for Better Transportation, asked an easy-to-answer question in Tallahassee the other day: "Why was the transportation trust fund created?"
The answer, which he readily provided, is simple: "To assure taxpayers that fuel taxes they pay would be set aside for road improvements."
Don't count on the Legislature to grasp that concept. And that's why leaders of the Florida Chamber of Commerce were a bit antsy Wednesday.
Gov. Jeb Bush has proposed taking $200 million a year over the next five years from the trust fund and using it for other projects.
Paul Ledford, senior vice president of the state chamber, said transportation spending has many benefits for the economy.
Taking money from the fund at a time when the state needs road improvements would affect the flow of goods and hurt tourism.
"Raiding that trust fund will cost jobs," Ledford said. "We're going to be a quagmire of traffic. No one's going to want to come here to visit."
If the Legislature approves the transfer, it should also pass legislation to rename the account the "transportation fund." It will have already removed the trust.

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