Bill would allow voters to decide on transit tax

Posted April 15, 2009 11:26 a.m. EDT
Updated April 15, 2009 1:55 p.m. EDT

— A North Carolina legislative committee has approved a plan allowing the state's second- and third-largest metro areas to expand mass transit systems if voters approve raising local sales taxes.

The House Finance Committee voted 19-6 on Wednesday to advance House Bill 148 to a House floor vote.

The bill would allow 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 $2, piggybacking onto Mecklenburg County's popular experiment with light rail.

The state's 94 other counties could raise sales taxes by a quarter-cent for transit projects.

The committee added a provision allowing Research Triangle Park to increase property taxes on its tenant companies to pay for transit.