News & Media
Vol. 9, No. 6June 13, 2011
In This Issue …
- Not too Late to Register for 2011 TIC Conference
- 2011 Measure Considered in Triangle Region NC
- New Report on Transportation Spending Priorities of States
- Baton Rouge Area Looks to 2012 for Transit Measure
Have You Made Plans to Win Your Next Campaign?
TIC 2011 IS ONLY ONE WEEK AWAY!
It isn't too late to sign up for the 2011 Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference! Registration is open online right up until the conference begins on June 20 in St. Louis, MO. Register online now! TIC 2011 kicks off with a two-hour, interactive workshop to get participants thinking about a plan of action for their next campaign. Participants will then spend two days learning how to build an effective coalition and win at the ballot box. Visit us online to check out the program and register.
Orange County, NC Not Going to the Ballot in 2012
RAIL PROPOSAL DEPENDS ON NEW FINANCING
Plans for the North Carolina counties of Orange, Wake and Durham to go to the ballot with a half-cent sales tax increase in November are slowly dissolving. The latest setback came when the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously against the tax despite being supportive of the development of a comprehensive regional transportation system. Commissioners still have to vote on a regional rail plan that proposes rail and bus service to contact the three counties at a cost of hundreds of millions. The plan was supposed to rely on revenue from the sales tax increase along with state and federal funding. For some members of the board it was the reliance on unsecured state and federal resources that caused more worry than the half-cent increase.
The North Carolina Genera Assembly voted in 2009 to give Wake, Orange and Durham the authority to increase the sales tax for transit.
New Report on Transportation Spending Priorities
STATES' ROAD CONDITIONS & SPENDING MAPPED
Smart Growth America and Taxpayers for Common Sense joined together to examine the transportation spending priorities of states and the liabilities that have emerged as a results. Their research found that 57 percent of funds available for construction and maintenance of roadways are put towards new construction, leaving only 43 percent for repair of existing infrastructure. With smarter investment choices to prevent roads from falling into a state of disrepair, money could be saved in the long run. Repair Priorities: Transportation spending strategies to save taxpayer dollars and improve roads recommends several strategies for reprioritizing spending at both the state and federal level.
The report, as well as an interactive 50 state map detailing spending and road conditions can be downloaded from http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/repair-priorities.
Baton Rouge Area Looks to 2012 for Transit Measure
SALES & PROPERTY TAX INCREASES CONSIDERED
In October 2010, an effort to increase the local property tax by 3.5 mills for the Capital Area Transit System failed. This hasn't stopped a panel in East Baton Rouge Parish, LA from continuing to pursue options to support the transit system. The Blue Ribbon Commission--a 17-member panel selected by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and a faith-based community group--has recommended seeking legislative changes to allow a sales tax measure in the 2012.
Currently, the parish has to seek additional funding through millage increases because it has reached its statutory cap on local sales taxes. The Blue Ribbon Commission has recommended pursuing legislation by next summer to create a Capital Area Transit District with the authority to level a sales tax. If all goes well a measure could be placed on the ballot in fall 2012.