Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Citizens Favor Tax Increase For Mass Transit

Mass Transit has been needed in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex for many years now. The streets and freeways are clogged and more cars hit the road every day. State and local officials know the problem well, but have been afraid to do anything about it because the solution would involve some kind of tax-raise. These officials thought a raising of taxes would anger voters and cost them their jobs.

It looks like that view may not be true any longer. The University of North Texas and the University of Texas at Dallas have conducted a scientific poll asking area residents if they would favor a 1/2 cent sales tax increase to build a regional commuter rail system. The telephone poll was conducted in the following counties: Tarrant, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Collin and Dallas.

Evidently, citizens in the Metroplex are tired of the clogged roads. 75% of the poll's respondents were in favor of raising the sales tax to build the commuter rail system. In Tarrant County 78% approved of raising the tax.

Many cities in the area are maxed-out at the state cap of 8.25%, so the legislature would have to authorize the increase. Perhaps this can be done now that it can be shown that the people approve of the idea. I hope so. North Texas has already waited too long for real mass transit.

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