Transportation Bond Goes to Ballot

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In October, Raleigh residents will cast a vote for or against a $75 million transportation bond to fund capital projects throughout the city.

Transportation Bond vs. Transit Tax Referendum

Raleigh voters will decide on the $75 million transportation bond Oct. 8. It is not the same as a proposed Wake County half-cent sales tax referendum for area transit projects including an expanded bus system and commuter rail. Instead, the transportation bond encompasses transit projects plus roads, sidewalks in Raleigh.

Councilors Tuesday voted in favor of placing the bond on the October ballot after a public hearing held during the evening Council session.

Councilors Thomas Crowder and Bonner Gaylord were absent and excused from the meeting.

If the bond is approved, the tax rate will increase by 1.12 cents. The tax increase would cover the cost of the bond, along with future maintenance once the projects are completed.

The bond would fully fund some projects, while funding only the design or property acquisition for others. Bond money would also increase funding for city programs such as the
Neighborhood Traffic Management program. (See full list of projects below.)

While transportation planning staff has identified 18 projects and programs that it wishes to fund with the bond, the money isn’t bound to the Council-approved list.

Projects could be prioritized, added or subtracted at any time, but bond funding must go toward transportation projects.

In 2011, voters approved a $40 million transportation bond that also included street maintenance and greenways.

Only one person spoke during the hearing. Opposing the bond, George Sharpley said that the bond would just be kicking the can down the road and leaving the work and debt for future generations.

The election is Oct. 8.

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