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GRDadof3

Would you support a regional "Transit" Sales Tax?

Would you support a regional "Transit/Non-Motorized" Sales Tax?   107 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you support an increase in local sales tax to provide support for...

    • Increased metro-wide mass transit?
      31
    • Increased recreational amenities (parks/trails expansion) in Kent County?
      6
    • Yes to all
      55
    • No to all
      14
    • Another source should be investigated
      10
  2. 2. Would you support a local sales tax increase of..

    • .25% to increase sales tax to 6.25%, or $20 Million/year?
      18
    • .50% to increase sales tax to 6.50%, or $40 Million/year?
      26
    • 1.00% to increase sales tax to 7.00%, or $80 Million/year?
      40
    • I wouldn't support any sales tax increase
      15
    • I think another funding source should be looked at
      13
  3. 3. Would you ride mass transit if service ran in your area

    • Yes, I would ride mass transit and support a tax increase
      75
    • No, I would not ride mass transit and not support funding at all
      7
    • No, I would not ride mass transit but would support funding for transit
      11
    • Other
      14

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

59 posts in this topic

Many cities and metro areas around the country have either implemented or are seriously considering regional sales tax increases to fund mass transit, recreation and non-motorized initiatives in their areas. Much of this is in response to dwindling funds for these initiatives at the federal level.

Although the FTA provides some funding for capital costs for transit projects through their New Starts, Small Starts and Very Small Starts Programs, the amount will only equal about $1.5 Billion in funding in 2007, and all FTA funding requires a local match of about 60/40 or less for any funding to be granted. Highway funding will be somewhere near $39.1 Billion this year. In addition, operating costs must be carried by the local governing agency.

With that being said, a regional sales tax for the Grand Rapids/Kent County area would provide:

1) Additional autonomy from State and Federal control over transit and recreational decisions,

2) A more equitable taxation system than property tax millage increases, since only about 70% of Kent County residents are homeowners,

3) Michigan's current 6% sales tax is set at the national average, and Michigan ranked 22nd in the country for overall "tax burden per capita". source, but many cities and counties in other states add on as much as a 2.75% sales tax: source. A 1% or less local tax would still allow Grand Rapids to be competitive.

4) A .25% sales tax on Kent County retail sales would provide about $20 Million/year, .5% would provide about $40 Million, 1% would provide about $80 Million/year.

5) This money could be collected at the county level, but would require passage by the Michigan legislature (as I understand it).

If the Grand Rapids area is to fully embrace a metro-wide transit system, funding may have to be investigated other than from millage increases.

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Great Poll GRDad :thumbsup:

It is time that we seriously think about transit both on a local (The Rapid) and regional (GVMC) level. We shouldn't have to wait for the State or Federal governments to finially realize the need. Lets be one of the Transit Leaders in the country and not one of the last to follow. I believe an additional sales tax would be a great way to increase funding for transit projects.

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I agree.

One problem, I don't want the state to collect this money and reimburse us. If the tax money must change hands at the state level I would really be weary of this funding concept.

Each of the tri-county metros have their own transit. As our growth trends continue to fill in the triangle I'm pretty sure there should be connection made between these three transit agencies.

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I think this would be the best way to fund expanded transit services. The one percent difference in sales tax would hardly be noticeable on a daily basis and it has the potential to raise a ton of money. What are we waiting for!!!!

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I would be in support of a sale tax increase to get a real mass transit system going in the GR Metro area. GR needs it to compete with place like Portland. If the feds are not willing to help and the state is to strapped for cash to do anything about it. Then its up to we voters to take care of the issue ourselves.

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I'd be willing to pay a 1% extra sales tax in the area as long as it stayed here in GR.

Personally I'd like to see a street car connection made out farther then the areas mentioned, and possibly into the west side near John Ball park and the downtown GVSU campus.

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The only way that this gets done is if the City hears it from the grassroots.

I think that this is one of the most important polls that we have done at UP. I say that because I think we all believe that this is a place where funding should go because it will benefit everyone: residents, businesses, and all others.

I am not a person who cares for tax hikes. This one, however, I would be more than happy to pay for.

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Metro areas in process of developing light-rail systems, or expanding existing systems (2006):

Albuquerque, NM ARTP (Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project)

Atlanta, GA AICTFS (Atlanta Inner Core Transit Feasibility Study) NWCS (Georgia Regional Transportation Authority Northwest Connectivity Study)

Austin, TX ASG (Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority All Systems Go! Project)

Bangor, ME BTTAS (Bangor to Trenton Transportation Alternatives Study)

Birmingham, AL BRTAA Birmingham Regional Transportation Alternatives Analysis)

Charleston, SC CARTA (Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority)(no info on site)

Charlotte, NC CATS (Charlotte Area Transit System)

Chicago, IL CTA (Chicago Transit Authority)(no info on site)

Cincinnati, OH SORTA (Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority)(no info on site)

Columbus, OH Fast Trax (Central Ohio Transit Authority)

Corpus Christi, TX The B (Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, CCRTA)(no info on site)

Detroit, MI DDMA (Downtown Detroit to Metro Airport Rapid Transit Alternative Analysis Study)

El Paso, TX SMART (Sun Metro Area Rapid Transit Line)

Fort Worth, TX FWTA (Fort Worth Transportation Authority)

Grand Canyon, AZ GCT (Grand Canyon Transit)

Jacksonville, FL JTA (Jacksonville Transportation Authority Transportation Alternatives Study)

Los Angeles, CA F4ET (Friends 4 Expo Transit) MGLCA (Metro Gold Line Construction Authority)

Louisville, KY T2 (Transportation Tomorrow)

Madison, WI T2020 (Transport 2020)

Miami, FL Trafficrelief (People's Transportation Plan)

Milwaukee, WI MCTS (Milwaukee County Transit System)(no info on site)

Minneapolis, MN Central Corridor (CC)

MNDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation Light Rail)

New York, NY Vision42

Norfolk, VA NLRP (Norfolk Light Rail Project)

Oceanside, CA NCTD (North County Transit District)

Orange, CA OCTA (Orange County Transportation Authority)

Orlando, FL CFR (Central Florida Rail)

Phoenix, AZ Valley Metro Rail (Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail Project)

Raleigh, NC TTA (Triangle Transit Authority)

Richmond, VA GRTC (GRTC Transit System)

Rochester, NY RRTC (Rochester Rail Transit Committee)

San Antonio, TX VIA (VIA Metropolitan Transit)

Seattle, WA Sound Transit (Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority)

Spokane, WA SRLR (Spokane Regional Light Rail)

Tampa, FL Hartline (Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority)

Tucson, AZ TST (Tucsonans for Sensible Transportation)

Washington, DC Metro (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority)

Metro areas with existing light-rail systems:

Baltimore, MD MTA (Maryland Transit Administration)

Boston, MA MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority)

Buffalo, NY Metro (Niagara Frontier Transit Metro System)

Cleveland, OH RTA (Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority)

Dallas, TX DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority)

Denver, CO RTD (Regional Transportation District)

Houston, TX Metro (Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)

Los Angeles, CA MTA (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

Minneapolis, MN Metro Transit (MT)

Newark, NJ NJT and NJT River LINE (New Jersey Transit Corporation)

Philadelphia, PA SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority)

Pittsburgh, PA PAAC (Port Authority of Allegheny County)

Portland, OR Portland Streetcar (PS) TriMet (Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon)

Sacramento, CA SRTD (Sacramento Regional Transit District)

Saint Louis, MO Metro (Bi-State Development Agency)

Salt Lake City, UT UTA (Utah Transit Authority)

San Diego, CA SDT (San Diego Trolley)

San Francisco, CA Muni (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco Municipal Railway)

San Jose, CA VTA (Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority)

Tacoma, WA Sound Transit (Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority)

Anyone think competition is going to be tough for future federal funding?

American Public Transportation Association

(someone from the RAPID should submit their GT2 study to this site)

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I think many will agree that this is a good tax increase for the right reasons. The problem I see is whether or not the State of Michigan will allow us (Grand Rapids/Kent County) to a sales tax increase. As we have seen in the past, I think the State and/or Gov. Granholm will want to raise the entire State Sales tax and than reapportion the monies throughout the State. This would give control at the State level rather than the local level.

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I think many will agree that this is a good tax increase for the right reasons. The problem I see is whether or not the State of Michigan will allow us (Grand Rapids/Kent County) to a sales tax increase. As we have seen in the past, I think the State and/or Gov. Granholm will want to raise the entire State Sales tax and than reapportion the monies throughout the State. This would give control at the State level rather than the local level.

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I fundamentally oppose tax increases under most circumstances, but anyone can realize the benefit of implementing a broader regional transit solution.

My commutes into GR from Holland this morning and Friday were spent thinking this: "riding a train would be infinitely safer right now. riding a train would be infinitely safer right now!!" as I watched multiple cars slide into the ditch and each other.

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For many that would that would forgo driving and thus began using an expanded mass transit system would see a big return on their investment as the out of pocket cost of a 1% sales tax increase would be nullified in a heart beat by the savings of using a good mass transit system as compared to cost of driving a car.

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For many that would that would forgo driving and thus began using an expanded mass transit system would see a big return on their investment as the out of pocket cost of a 1% sales tax increase would be nullified in a heart beat by the savings of using a good mass transit system as compared to cost of driving a car.

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I would support the tax, but voted other for whether I would use the system. I would use it, but it's likely that it won't go where I need to go. I do sort of a reverse commute in that I live in the city and work in the suburbs.

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I fundamentally oppose tax increases under most circumstances, but anyone can realize the benefit of implementing a broader regional transit solution.

My commutes into GR from Holland this morning and Friday were spent thinking this: "riding a train would be infinitely safer right now. riding a train would be infinitely safer right now!!" as I watched multiple cars slide into the ditch and each other.

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Oh look no road snow -- still looks white!

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Fantastic response to this poll! And quite a few voting for the $.01 sales tax. At that rate even if operating costs of the first couple of lines reaches $10,000,000/year, the extra $70 Mil going into reserves every year would quickly build to $350 Mil every five years, which is about the approximate cost to build an 8 - 10 mile light-rail or commuter rail line (probably less for CR). Not to mention the revenue would increase as population and retail sales grow. That's 4 light rail lines or commuter rail lines serving the four corners of the metro in 20 years, with no reliance on federal dollars (although it would behoove us to apply for federal funding as well, and they could possibly come sooner than 20 years). In addition, the extra sales tax generated would help keep the costs of ridership passes low.

Can someone get this poll over to GVMC? Or the Kent Co. Transit Task Force?

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In addition to the daily commutes to and from work, a good mass transit system would also get users to shopping and entertainment destinations. Imagine taking a BRT or Streetcar to the VAN or Woodland Mall. Instead of screaming in a fit of road rage as you are fighting your way through snarled traffic all you have to do is just sit back relax and enjoy the ride. If GR had a good mass transit system above and beyond its buses, even folks with your commuting situation would still benefit.

I would support the tax, but voted other for whether I would use the system. I would use it, but it's likely that it won't go where I need to go. I do sort of a reverse commute in that I live in the city and work in the suburbs.

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Should this tax go hand in hand with the millages? I think the people would vote more for a replacement rather both taxes. This indeed would have to be very grass roots.

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I would be in support of a sale tax increase to get a real mass transit system going in the GR Metro area. GR needs it to compete with place like Portland. If the feds are not willing to help and the state is to strapped for cash to do anything about it. Then its up to we voters to take care of the issue ourselves.

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If GR wants to be like Portland, it needs to act like Portland. Portlanders stopped the sprawl and placed a high value on living in the city. The housing prices reflect this fact. People in central Portland forego $600 in month in car loans, gas fill ups and car insurance premiums and instead use that extra money on a house close to public transit, public schools, public parks.

There's a viable public transportation system already in place, running all over the City of Grand Rapids, into Grandville, Walker, East Grand Rapids, parts of Kentwood, and elsewhere. OK, it's a bus, not some sexy train. But you can already, right now, today, without add a cent of tax, choose to live near where the Rapid routes go. The region can vote with its collective mortgage dollars and choose to live near the already built system. Buy or rent a house near a Rapid stop. Work for an employer near a Rapid stop. Until the housing stock that's current within walking distance of the existing Rapid routes is valued, how can you justify adding to the region's tax burden?

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...

There's a viable public transportation system already in place, running all over the City of Grand Rapids, into Grandville, Walker, East Grand Rapids, parts of Kentwood, and elsewhere. OK, it's a bus, not some sexy train. But you can already, right now, today, without add a cent of tax, choose to live near where the Rapid routes go. The region can vote with its collective mortgage dollars and choose to live near the already built system. Buy or rent a house near a Rapid stop. Work for an employer near a Rapid stop. Until the housing stock that's current within walking distance of the existing Rapid routes is valued, how can you justify adding to the region's tax burden?

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^I'll bring this up again.

Does anyone know the progress of the Kent County sub-committee for county wide transit? I can see this county wide sales tax as a great way of breaking into county wide transit. With that much more in tax revenue I can see buses running longer and farther say out to Rockford, Sparta, etc...

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^I'll bring this up again.

Does anyone know the progress of the Kent County sub-committee for county wide transit? I can see this county wide sales tax as a great way of breaking into county wide transit. With that much more in tax revenue I can see buses running longer and farther say out to Rockford, Sparta, etc...

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