Leaders throughout the country are recognizing the limitations of federal aid and turning to voters to voluntarily increase their taxes or institute additional fees to improve the quality of their transportation networks. Will voters go along?
An article in "The Transport Politic" takes a close look at Seattle and Atlanta, each in the midst of its own effort to raise taxes and fees. In Atlanta, a regional initiative supported by political and business leaders across a ten-county area will advance a 1% sales tax to the ballot next November. Over half of the billions in locally raised funds is to be transferred to capital and operational programs. In Seattle, an enthusiastic mayor is articulating a grand, citywide strategy to bring high-quality transit to his city as quickly as possible. If approved by voters, a significant increase in the vehicle registration fee could mean rapid streetcars and more bus rapid transit."
The article goes on to discuss what it takes to pass such a tax/fee. The article reports on Mineta Transportation Institute's study examining eight case studies and determined that the importance of consensus among business, elected and environmental interest groups and a well orchestrated and savvy, well funded media message is critical to success.
Check out the article here.