Several of you have expressed an interest in getting updates on what is happening in the Charlotte area. If you've ever driven around this city, you already know that much of what we talk about locally centers on transportation. As we struggle to add a light rail system and other modern mass transit options, we also sadly find ourselves still stuck in the roads mode and one reason is that Charlotte rarely gets its fair share of money from the state. Our municiple roads aren't repaired because we wind up having to foot the bill to repair state roads in our area since Basnight and the gang out East gobble up all the state road money to pave rural roads that nobody travels. (sour grapes much?)
Meanwhile, the projects consistently rising to the top of the list have been in the Eastern North Carolina district of Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, D-Dare. Seven of his eight counties were in the top 20 on a per-capita basis, though many have small populations that can skew the ranking.
Please follow below the fold....
Oh...I might sound like I'm just whining and complaining but I'm not making stuff up. It's fairly well documented. The above quote is in reference to a small pot of money relative to the entire budget, but is indicative of the problem.
I intended to write a more inclusive piece, but arthritis is preventing me from sitting or typing too long today. Fortunately for all of us Richard Rubin of The Charlotte Observer has put together a nice piece that covers just a small part of the problem. His first few paragraphs:
Charlotte drivers know the problems well: dangerous school zones, crumbling streets and accident-prone intersections.
The N.C. Department of Transportation has a pot of money that could help fix those problems -- but relatively little of it comes to the Charlotte area.
The $15 million contingency fund is controlled largely by legislative leaders who distribute it to their colleagues' districts, and their own, without a comprehensive analysis of traffic, safety or population, according to an Observer investigation.
Over the past six years, Mecklenburg, the state's most populous county, received $1.99 per person, ranking it 94th out of 100 counties in per capita spending. Forty-one counties, about half of them east of Interstate 95, got more than $12 per person.
I know roads aren't the sexiest portion of transportation discussions, but that's what we have to deal with.
Many of Mecklenburg County's roads projects have long delays in completion due to lack of funding. As smaller municipalities develop projects that qualify for funding and the legislature approves them, the pot of money for roads is spread too thin to complete projects already started in larger cities like Charlotte.
Top if off with the fact that we contribute more to the pot of money than any other area of the state and you have a bunch of frustrated drivers.
This is a complicated issue. Each project seems to have its own special problem and I don't believe that throwing money at problems will solve them. However, Mecklenburg County always seems to be at the end of the line when it comes to money for our roads and it would be nice if more of the tax dollars we pay could be directed to our own county long enough to meet the needs of the people who live here. You know I don't mind sharing. I'm just saying..............
Sales and Use Taxes (PDF)
Sorry, I couldn't find similar data on state income tax.
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