Dear Mr. Johnson:
I write regarding the proposed All Aboard Florida (AAF) passenger rail project and its efforts to finance the project using Private Activity Bonds through Florida Development Finance Corporation (FDFC). As the elected representative of Florida's Eighteenth Congressional District, I am deeply concerned about the project's impact on my district and the Treasure Coast.
The communities I am proud to represent are being asked to cover the cost, risk, and impact associated with increased rail traffic barreling through town centers while receiving none of the benefit associated with improved transportation infrastructure. The potential negative economic impact on my district will be exacerbated by the estimated $37 to S60 million in foregone revenue borne by Florida taxpayers from the issuance of tax-exempt bonds.
From a procedural standpoint, FDFC has fallen short of my constituents' rightful expectations of transparency, thoroughness, and respect. Our communities' outspoken opposition to AAF does not absolve FDFC of its obligation to consider, understand, and internalize important rail safety and maritime issues when considering worthiness of this project for a taxpayer subsidy. I am confident that if FDFC reviews AAF in an open, transparent, and exhaustive light, you will reach the same conclusion that residents have: All Aboard Florida is a bad deal for the Treasure Coast.
Patrick E. Murphy
MEMBER OF CONGRESS