Voters in one North Carolina community this week decided to pay more for transportation improvements.
A question on the city of Raleigh’s Tuesday, Oct. 8, ballot asked voters to decide on a $75 million transportation bond. The question passed by a 70 percent to 30 percent margin.
The new money will be used for 18 road work, transit and sidewalks throughout the city.
Supporters said that without approving new funds it would take the city 50 years to resurface each street. Normally, they said streets should be repaved three or four times within that time span.
Opponents said the city already has too much debt. They also questioned whether some projects, such as streetscapes and improved bike paths, are necessary.
The bond approval will raise the property tax rate by 1.12 cents per $100 valuation. The increase amounts to $33 more on a $300,000 house.
The revenue covers the cost of the bond, as well as continued maintenance once projects are finished.
The Wake County Republican and Democratic parties took 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.”