Pro Train Tax Forum at UNC

It snowed last Monday night in Howell Hall on the UNC Campus. Light Rail Proponents ( former students), sought to bond with the meager crowed assembled for an “overview” of the proposed light rail tax noted it was wonderful the school finally installed AC in the hall. It was not required last night. It was below 50 degrees outside and the snow job broadcast to the audience to sell the Light Rail Tax to students was enough to put a chill into any real taxpayer of Orange County.
Only the happy aspects were presented. The Triangle Transit Treasurer doubling as the Orange County Commission Chairwoman, the Leader of the Sierra Club, Chapel Hill’s Chamber of Commerce Director, and an Author of a book on the Triangle were present.

Each had about a fifteen to twenty minute power point presentation touting all the wonderful things the Tax could do. Only the rosiest projections were cast except for when fear was required to make a pitch.

That fear came in the form of a projected 1.7 million new people moving to the “Triangle” and how best to cope with their transportation needs. The problem for me, was the Triangle Transit wiz and author of the “everything you want to know about the Triangle” book, could not tell the crowd what was going to draw this mass of humanity to Orange County.
What rate of growth in Orange is projected to accommodate this mass? He could not answer. Orange County has been run by one party for 122 years. It is historically hostile to any private development or industry. What sea change in philosophy could possibly occur to allow for industry and housing to build on a scale to accept or even attract this projected influx of people? Again, the guy who wrote the book had no answer. I can only suppose he had not taken into account the political history of the county or the election structure that allows a “Progressive” district to dictate the course of the entire county. Perhaps he had not considered a 700 page Unified Development Ordinance(regulations) that is 100 times larger than our neighboring county.The Chairwoman for Orange County said nothing about this massive regulatory hurdle being amended for the Economic development districts…what’s the point short of location?

My question as to the 200% increase in Tag Tax in relation to a populace that votes for the Transit Tax (and thus the Tag Tax) and their ability to avoid not paying the Tag tax as the bulk of students have cars registered out of state… was met with no satisfactory answer, but I did note the Triangle Director giving instructions to the “moderator” to shut down the meeting after the weak attempt.

I’m still not certain who proposed this meeting this meeting; it was published electronically 23 hours before it occurred. Beside the cast I mentioned, the Director and Planners of Triangle Transit were also present as well as at least two reporters and one  Pro Rail campus organizer. As far as I could tell I was the only opposition to the Rail Plan in attendance. Other County Commissioners I spoke to were not aware that it was taking place neither was a great portion of the public.

This was a targeted sales pitch to one select group of voters and in the interest of “transparency” it was released to one electronic media outlet at 8pm on a Sunday. Triangle Transit had enough notice to have 3 of their top brass in attendance. The Treasurer of Triangle Transit and Orange County Board Chair Bernadette Pelissier had notice to pull together a power point presentation as did Aaron Nelson, President of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.

This is how Government works in Orange County. When a tax is needed, it knows where to curry votes. Drop some snow on the steep slopes of any lecture hall on UNC Campus… blow it around to hide the pitfalls and only invite your “friends”.
I am not anti-public transit. I am anti Light Rail. The Federal Transit Administration Data shows it is a failure and a burden to every local economy that implements it and to our In Debt Nation as a whole that foots the greater portion of the bill.

Government “transparency” makes the snow job hard to see in this picture

Orange County Residents pulling the Light Rail Load for the greater “Triangle”


2 Responses to “Pro Train Tax Forum at UNC”

  1. I agree with you that the light rail should not go ahead. I would prefer the money spent on education, which has helped make Orange County popular in the triangle (certainly more so that Durham County). I am a Democrat and will be voting for your opponent because I want the county to keep moving forward and don`t believe the County Commissioners (as opposed to the state and federal levels) are strangling business. Joe Phelps seems to be doing well!

    • Mike you did see the reason why those two teachers were moved did you not? They were asked to grade fix. If they are the only two not doing it…then what does that say about the system?

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