I’m becoming obsessed with this story. I guess it’s because Metro is finally getting screwed for once instead of the one doing the screwing. After years of crappy service, the karma deficit they’ve racked up has come full circle. I take immense joy in their suffering.
Here’s the scandalous part. From what I can tell, KBC Bank has made a hefty profit off the deal because they technically own the trains. But the mulah ain’t coming solely from leasing the equipment back to Metro, no, it comes from KBC Bank being able to accrue tax breaks.
The Washington Post:
Under the deals, known as lease-back transactions, transit agencies such as Metro sold their rail cars or other equipment to banks and then leased them back. The banks received a tax break on the depreciation of the rail cars. The IRS ended the practice in 2004.
Oh those trains depreciate, alright. What a deal. Now I have even less sympathy for those rascally Belgians.
Treasury officials are reluctant to step in because they would be bailing out a tax-avoidance strategy, sources familiar with Treasury's thinking have said.
The judge suggested that KBC was motivated to collect payment from Metro as a way to recoup some of its tax breaks.
In other news, Fenty is going after shady used car
Aside from the aesthetic improvements resulting from these lot closures (and they are eyesores if you happen to live near one), I predict there will be a slight drop in auto thefts now. As someone who was almost carjacked in NE once, I applaud this action.
The closure of the car lot comes on the heels of a city-wide sweep the mayor has launched on 100 used car businesses in the city. The investigation focuses on everything from license violations to illegal activity. Police say they have even found a stolen car in one shop.
Lastly, M@, stay out of the DC strip clubs. It's for your own safety.