JLF Triangle Blog

Durham And Orange Counties, Sales Tax Hike For Transit Is Coming

Durham County’s voter-approved half-cent sales tax hike will be imposed on April 1, as it will in Orange County.  Last month, JLF’s former Director of Research, Michael Sanera, provided this data on rail transit, which is a key element of the Triangle counties’ transit plan and the reason this tax is being imposed.

But promises of a “positive impact” on congestion have not panned out in other cities that have wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on rail transit. Of the 33 U.S. cities with some form of rail transit, only six account for more than 1 percent of the passenger miles traveled in the region, and 22 carry less than one-half of 1 percent. Does Orange County want to be like San Jose, where rail makes up 0.42 percent of passenger miles traveled? How about Denver (0.44 percent) or Dallas (0.26 percent)?

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