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Op-Ed: Brooklyn-to-Queens Streetcar Won't Pay for Itself
Some boosters of New York's proposed Brooklyn-to-Queens (BQX) streetcar have argued that any spending on the project would just be an investment that would get paid back. Mayor Bill deBlasio and others have said that the value of property near the streetcar would go up, and, they argue, the resulting increase in property tax receipts would "pay off the project’s entire $2.5 billion construction cost, thus getting the city a new light rail line entirely for free," Neil deMause writes for the Village Voice.
This claim does not stand up to scrutiny, according to deMuse: "Investigation of the economic studies underpinning the streetcar’s finances, along with interviews with development and transit experts and the project’s planners, finds that the city’s contention that the BQX would pay its own way relies on untenably optimistic assumptions and creative bookkeeping."