Wake County elected officials and community groups are getting ready to lobby voters to back raising the sales tax rate by a half-cent to help fund a new $2.3 billion transit plan.
The Wake County Board of Commissioners is expected to approve a transit plan this spring that includes commuter trains between Raleigh, Research Triangle Park and Durham. The plan also has expanded bus service that could quadruple transit ridership in Wake County by 2027.
Commissioners are expected to seek a November referendum for voter approval to raise the sales tax to fund Wake’s share of the plan.
In a year-end message this week, Wake County Commissioner John Burns listed the transit plan and addressing the issues of affordable housing and the treatment of those confronting mental illness as among his main goals for 2016.
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“2016 will bring the passage of a comprehensive transit plan that will offer new choices and freedom to those who live and work in Wake County,” Burns said.
In a fundraising email message this week, Julia Lee, chairwoman of WakeUP Wake County’s board of directors, said the non-profit group is “leading the grassroots public education campaign for expanded transit.” Lee urged people to give money to help support WakeUP Wake’s “advocacy for a new, superior transit system in Wake County.”
“Transportation choices are a crucial part of a healthy, sustainable community,” Lee said in the email. “By supporting WakeUP, you can help keep Wake a place people choose to call home!”
▪ Brad Crone, president of Campaign Connections, will speak about voting patterns, gerrymandering and strategies for helping Democrats win in 2016 at the Wake Democratic Men’s Club meeting on Monday, Jan. 11, at the Holiday Inn Downtown, 320 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. Doors open at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m. Make dinner reservations by Thursday, Jan. 7, by email to WakeDMC@mail.com. Dinner is $20 for members, $23 for non-members.
Compiled by T. Keung Hui
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