The Tampa to Orlando High Speed Rail Line: Protecting the Taxpayers

All parties agree that neither state nor local taxpayers must be liable for cost increases, operating subsidies or the potential return of money to the federal government. The reality, however, is that federal policy requires the state or local government receiving the federal funding to assume these liabilities. When the costs exceed the limited resources of the private consortium, only the taxpayers will be left.

Promises and statements from project promoters will not reimburse the taxpayers when the private consortium fails to pay. The inevitable statements of regret will do nothing to soften the blow.

Protecting the Taxpayers: It would be difficult, but not impossible, to establish guarantees that protect the taxpayers. Nothing less than the following would be required:

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