Published: Oct 27, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Oct 25, 2012 05:50 PM
Regarding the division of the proposed transit tax:
“Receiving services in proportion to one’s investment is not achievable, nor should it be, with regard to government services.” – Lydia Lavelle Apr 9 2012
This is an interesting perspective of the Carrboro alderwoman, considering District 1 is due to receive 138 percent return on District One’s investment. This is the general thinking of most of our government leaders. District 2 is the beast of burden for District 1’s desires. If there was any doubt, please remember the off-year municipal ballot containing the quarter-cent sales tax that could not pass in general elections in the years preceding it; look at the gerrymandered election structure where all commissioners pander to District 1.
Make no mistake; while this is a Transit plan, it is a Light Rail plan. Light rail is a failure and the Federal Transit Administration data shows it. Proponents disconnect from reality and the empirical data was apparent in those who stood before the county commissioners and opined for Light Rail. It was the heights of silliness hearing Penny Rich compare the needs of the 60,000 citizens in southern Orange to the 1.5 million people in Phoenix, Ariz.
Yes, Light Rail would give UNC a bit of prestige … but it comes with a heavy price tag. A Legacy Tax that never dies will be voted on by many who will not pay the 200 percent increase in Triangle Transit tag taxes not on the ballot, or face the continued burden of sales taxes in conjunction with the state’s highest municipal taxes, and the state’s fifth -highest county property taxes. All poisonous signals to any business seeking fertile ground to plant root. This factual condition was never mentioned in all the bountiful economic development talk surrounding the transit discussions.
When District 2 hears the bemoaning of southeastern Orange citizens who cannot get across this 5-mile wide gulf of free buses, maze of sidewalks, and hear of the ridiculous $2.50 fee for a full-run on the light rail, we feel the strap lines that cut into our shoulders. We check the weight of our wallets and purses threatened by more taxes and tag fees for transit. We lament the influence of tens of thousands of transient voters who will be here long enough to vote for a Chapel Hill Choo Choo, then leave us to pay for it. We lament those who will not pay the tag fee as they are not compelled to register their cars here.
I encourage everyone to find and read the Hartgen-Rubin report that Wake County Commissioners found so appalling they did not to put the tax on their ballot
Citizens must know that current services are not dependent on this referendum passing.
I urge everyone to use the online NC Voter Look Up to review your sample ballot. Note the cumulative $10 Tag Tax is not included in the language for the Transit Referendum. The new tag tax is an option that will be exercised. This is transparency failure on the part of our commissioners and Triangle Transit, and it is intentional. Remember the last time you voted for a Triangle Transit representative? That’s right, never. We cannot hire or fire them.
I urge everyone to vote against this legacy tax, and I urge student voters to think about those who will remain behind to pay this burden and how it would add to the 700 pages of regulatory constraints that repel industry that could provide relief to the property owners that wish to remain here.
We in District 2 are NOT opposed to public transportation. The idea of Bus Rapid Transit is sound and working elsewhere in the nation and offers great flexibility. But being harnessed to pay for a Light Rail that absorbs such a great portion of tax revenue for an idea that appears nothing more than a UNC / DUKE employee/student shuttle is too much to bear.
Chris Weaver is a candidate for Orange County commissioner in District 2.