Voters in North Carolina’s capital city decided this week to raise their taxes to improve local infrastructure.
By a margin of 72 percent to 28 percent, voters in the city of Raleigh on Tuesday, Oct. 10, approved a $206.7 million bond package to fund road improvement projects throughout the city. The borrowing will be covered via a 1.29-cent property tax increase.
Projects listed for attention include widening the Six Forks corridor from four lanes to six lanes from Interstate 440 to Lynn Road. A full list of more than 20 projects identified for work are available here.
Advocates say the Wake County locale has nearly a billion dollars in transportation needs. They acknowledge the bond will not solve the city’s unmet needs but it is a step forward to address congestion issues and needed repairs.
In addition to road improvements, more “streetscape” work, more bike access, and investment in the city’s “traffic calming” program, supporters say the money will help the city invest matching funds for the North Carolina Department of Transportation for long-term needs.
Opponents said the bond is an unnecessary expense that will increase the city’s debt load. They also question spending money on bike lanes, buses and other projects that do not involve road work.
Raleigh voters have shown a willingness in recent years to tax themselves for infrastructure work. Voters in the city also approved a transportation bond in 2013. The 1.12-cent property tax increase raised $75 million.
One year ago, Wake County voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase to benefit the Wake County Transit Plan.
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