RALEIGH, N.C. — A bill now on the the governor’s desk would allow the state’s second- and third-largest metro areas to expand mass transit systems if voters approve raising local sales taxes.
HB 148/SB 151 would allow the state’s voters in Forsyth, Guilford, Wake, Durham and Orange counties to decide whether to increase local sales taxes by half a cent and car registration fees by up to $5. In order to take effect, voters must agree during an election.
Charlotte voters approved this measure 10 years ago for improved rail and bus systems. Meanwhile, groundbreaking began Wednesday on the state’s first toll road, which will cost more than $1 billion.
But that was before the state approved the new budget, which includes an 1-cent “temporary” increase on sales taxes along with a surcharge on state taxes and higher cigarette and alcohol taxes.
With all that, will voters decide another half-cent is worth it to build trains? In case you’re wondering, a half-cent increase means for every $10 you spend, it will cost you an extra 5 cents.