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Election 2013: Raleigh voters will decide on $75 million transportation bond
By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor

Voters this fall in one North Carolina community will decide whether to pay more for transportation improvements.

A question on the city of Raleigh’s Oct. 8 ballot will ask voters to decide on a $75 million transportation bond. The money would be used for roadwork, transit and sidewalks throughout the city.

Supporters say that without approving new funds it would take the city 50 years to resurface each street. Normally, they say streets should be repaved three or four times within that time span.

Opponents say the city already has too much debt. They also question whether some projects, such as streetscapes and improved bike paths, are necessary.

If approved, the property tax rate would increase by 1.12 cents per $100 valuation. The increase would amount to $33 more on a $300,000 house.

The revenue would cover the cost of the bond, as well as continued maintenance once projects are finished.

The Wake County Republican and Democratic parties have taken different stances on the bond issue.

Democratic Party Chairman Dan Blue III wrote that the property tax hike “is a reasonable price to pay for widened roads, better traffic flow, and improvements for bicyclists in the fast-growing city.”

Republican officials said that they found “some projects to be very credible; however, concern about continued accumulation of debt warrants opposition to the bond issue.”

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