Durham voters to weigh transit, education taxes on November ballot | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Monday, June 27, 2011

Durham voters to weigh transit, education taxes on November ballot

Posted by on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Picture_16.png

Durham's Board of County Commissioners approved resolutions Monday night to offer two new sales taxes on nonessential goods for approval on November's ballot.

Both taxes—1/2 of a penny for transit and 1/4 of a penny for education—would help fill in gaps in state-level funding further widened by this year's General Assembly, which voted to end a temporary 1-cent sales tax for education, said Board of County Commissioners Vice Chairwoman Ellen Reckhow.

"We do have a window of opportunity here to raise some critical resources for education [and transportation] when the state's backing off," Reckhow said. She noted that her board was proposing a combined sales tax increase of three-fourths of a penny, which would still lead to a net reduction for Durham shoppers once the state's 1-cent sales tax expires next month.

TRANSIT
The county wants voters to allow a 1/2-cent sales tax on goods (except housing, food, medicine and gasoline) in Durham County to expand public bus services and add commuter-rail and light-rail systems that could eventually interconnect with rail services in Orange and Wake counties. See maps, graphics and plans here.

Commissioners compromised, however, on exactly when to levy the tax if it's approved in November. The board decided it would not ask the Triangle Transit Authority to institute the tax until Wake and Orange counties hold public votes on the same issue, putting the new tax off by at least a year. Elected officials in Wake and Orange counties have said they intend to place the transit tax on their 2012 ballots.

The compromise was partly in response to concerns about tri-county collaboration raised by Commissioner Joe Bowser. Durham officials shouldn't collect the tax until they know the two other counties are committed to implementing their portions of the regional transit plan the taxes would fund.

"The [other counties] might never come online," Bowser said. "And if they never come online, we can't do this project alone."

If the transit tax were levied next year, the first full year of collection in 2013 would have garnered an estimated $18 million. It's unclear how that estimate would change with a one-year delay in collection. The tax is projected to fund commuter rail between Durham and Research Triangle Park to be built by 2018, and light rail into Chapel Hill by 2025. (See a Durham County fact sheet on the tax, PDF)

EDUCATION
If voters approve, a 1/4-cent sales tax would be added to purchases of goods (other than gasoline, food and medication) beginning in April 2012, generating an estimated $9 million in its first full year in 2013. About $8.1 million of that year-one money would go to the operating and debt-payment budgets of the Durham Public Schools, with the rest benefitting pre-kindergarten programs and being allocated in grants for DPS students to attend Durham Technical Community College. (See Durham County's fact sheet, PDF.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

"Since late November, Henderson County in Western North Carolina has seen 20 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, and has …

by Liza Coutu on The Problem with N.C.’s Religious Exemption Law (News)

What part of illegal don't they understand. Congress is considering the DACAs plus all other illegal aliens in a bill …

by john1050 on Durham Church Offers Immigrant Sanctuary from Deportation (News)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

"Since late November, Henderson County in Western North Carolina has seen 20 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, and has …

by Liza Coutu on The Problem with N.C.’s Religious Exemption Law (News)

What part of illegal don't they understand. Congress is considering the DACAs plus all other illegal aliens in a bill …

by john1050 on Durham Church Offers Immigrant Sanctuary from Deportation (News)

From the WRAL story:
http://www.wral.com/former-wake-register-o…
"John Stephenson, the county's internal auditor, said an average of $1,100 to …

by Mojo on Indictments in Wake Register of Deeds Scandal Charge Laura Riddick with Embezzling $926,615 (News)

Hopefully Indyweek will remember all this the next time they endorse a Republican (over and over again).

by Robert Larson on Indictments in Wake Register of Deeds Scandal Charge Laura Riddick with Embezzling $926,615 (News)

Sessions has already strip mined the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ. Thankfully U.S. Senator Cory Booker, D-New Jersey is …

by growlybear on Senator Cory Booker Asks for the Release of a Department of Justice Memo on Thomas Farr’s Involvement in a Voter-Intimidation Scheme (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation