photo by Heather Renee_____
The state has sufficient funding to cover about 40% of the state's road needs.
Money, Money, Money:
Where to get the money? Republicans dislike raising taxes, but its obvious that some revenue must be raised from someone -- unless we just bear with the current
situation (which will definitely get worse). Years ago the gas tax raised enough money, but more efficient
cars and a general desire to NOT increase the gas tax have got us to today's situation. For More Information Contact:
First, the causes of the need for roads -- growth -- should bear a lot of the burden. Second, the beneficiaries of the growth should bear a lot of the burden. Third, those who don't fall in either of those two categories should bear little or none of the burden.
Generally, we have a system where new development is supposed to pay to keep the road system at its current level, but somehow this doesn't seem to be working. And local governments seem to have little say in which projects get done (I-77 tolls being the biggest example). A system with more local control would help.
Newcomers, especially those moving from the much more expensive states (the Left Coast and the Northeast) face housing prices here that are HALF or less than what they leave behind, and property tax levels that are similarly much lower. So some form of newcomer's tax would be both fair and not overly burdensome when people are selling high value homes and getting the same home here for much less. There is already a real estate transfer tax, 1%, that is split between the state and county. Raise that to 3%, with the extra 2.5% going to local governments exclusively for roads.
Secondly, local governments receive windfall tax revenues from growth. Bigger operations are supposed to be more efficient, so adding 5% more people should not automatically become a 5% increase in local govenment expense -- 4% maybe. That extra 1% -- representing about 15% of the tax revenue form new growth, should be required to be earmarked for infrastructure capital spending by local governments, for the first five years.
And finally, in jurisdictions with impact fees (none are in Cleveland, Lincoln, Iredell or Gaston) should be required to segregate an equal amount (over 5 years) of that windfall tax revenue for the same infrastructure spending that the impact fees are for.
Elect Martin Oakes
Tel: (704) 277-3226
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Last modified: 07/10/17
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