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Amy Traub

Voters: We’ll Pay for Good Transportation

Think last week’s election was nothing more than a massive voter referendum in favor of lower taxes, reduced spending and less government? A roundup of transportation ballot measures from the Center for Transportation Excellence should make you think again.

From Anchorage to St. Louis to Fairfax County, Virginia, when they were asked to weigh in directly on local transportation spending measures, voters chose to approve the investment 77 percent of the time. In many cases, voters opted to raise their own sales, property, or vehicle registration taxes in the process, indicating a strong support for mass transit, infrastructure maintenance, and upgrades in street safety even during lean times. Some highlights:

In Ypsilanti, Michigan voters overwhelming approved property tax increases earmarked for public transit.

Voters in Austin, Texas supported a $90 million bond to improve streets, sidewalks, transit infrastructure, and bike paths – rejecting the advice of critics who denounced “frivolous spending” and insisted that new roads were the only projects worthy of funding.

In St. Louis, the light rail and bus systems will be able to restore service cuts and expand thanks to strong voter support for a half-cent sales tax dedicated to public transit.

Street repairs and transit upgrades will move forward in San Francisco and many of the surrounding counties as voters chose to pay higher vehicle registration fees to fund improvements.

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Posted at 9:37 AM, Nov 12, 2010 in Infrastructure | Tax Policy | Transportation
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