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Originally Posted by Son of Dad
why in particular are you against it? just curious.
The irony is that a vote "FOR" this, which actually won last night, does HELP METRO.........................................but this is the kicker, you ready.............
IT PREVENTS METRO FROM FUNDING ANY AND ALL FUTURE LIGHT RAIL PROJECTS UNTIL THE YEAR 2025
..unless it's another source of funding....Check the map below, Houston is already constructing the Red Line extension to the North
, Green Line to the East
, and the Purple Line to the Southeast
...........however, it is the Blue Line called the University Line
, and the Yellow Line out West
connected to it, that won't be getting any type of funding until 2025, so that is essentially what was lost last night.
METRO referendum gets voters' OK
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Eyewitness News is projecting that voters will approve METRO's General Mobility Program Referendum.
he new deal continues to give Houston, Harris County and 14 smaller cities 25 percent of whatever METRO collects in taxes in 2014. That money always goes to surrounding communities to build roads.
But here's the change that voters approved: If the economy improves and METRO collects more taxes, the agency can keep half of the growth, something it doesn't do now. This extra money for METRO will go to buy buses and shelters.
However, none of the money the agency may collect in the future will go to fund its light rail until at least 2025.
Also, this new deal ultimately will cost the city of Houston $162 million over the next 11 years, but Mayor Annise Parker says she's OK with that.
"Even though this slightly affects ReBuild Houston's funding, METRO's contributions to that program are not enough to outweigh the need to have a strong and secure regional transit system," Parker told Eyewitness News in August.
Voters extend Metro's tax-sharing plan
By Monica Rhor | November 6, 2012 | Updated: November 6, 2012 10:52pm
A referendum authorizing the Metropolitan Transit Authority to continue diverting part of its sales tax revenues for road projects passed by a wide margin Tuesday.
Voters in Metro's service area extended through 2025 the general mobility program, which allows a fourth of Metro's 1 percent sales tax collections to be shared with the city, county and 14 small cities for road, bridge, sidewalk and other non-transit projects. This year, the sales tax generated $141 million.
The measure approved by voters allows Metro to keep more of the cash for transit than it does under the current funding formula. Instead of keeping 75 percent of sales tax collections, it will keep as much as 81 percent. By 2025, when the program again will be up for reauthorization, that could net Metro an extra $400 million - money that can be spent on bus service and to pay down debt, but not for rail.
"People really came together for road building and bus service from different factions," said Metro board chairman Gilbert Garcia.
He said voters recognized the need to improve roads and to expand transit, including rail service. Metro is building three new light rail lines but the fate of two others approved by voters in 2003 is uncertain.
"You bet we are going to look at the next step for rail," Garcia said.
Garcia said extending the mobility plan gives Metro a chance to reduce debt and increase bus service while laying the groundwork for more light rail.
"But before we take that next step on rail, we need to bring down our debt," Garcia said.
Mayor Annise Parker said the referendum will help restore a balance between light rail and other transportation services.
"We have been cannibalizing the bus system in order to support the light rail lines," Parker said. "The workhorse of any transit system is a robust, flexible bus system."
Opponents of the measure argued that its passage could put a halt to rail projects, possibly for decades.
The next time Metro could use local money for rail would be 2024, said David Crossley, president of Houston Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization that has led opposition to the Metro proposition.
As the population in the unincorporated area increases, Harris County eventually will control most seats on the board, making it unlikely city-centric rail service would ever grow, he said.
"There is nothing we can do about it," Crossley said at a results watching party.
If the referendum had failed, the general mobility program would have ended, allowing Metro to keep all its sales tax collections. That would have meant $2.5 billion more for Metro than if general mobility continued unchanged.
Crossley had argued that passage of the referendum would have allowed Metro to do all of what Garcia pledges and still have money left over for rail projects such as the planned University line.
A large number of voters skipped the referendum on the ballot, indicating that confusion may have played a role in the outcome.
"I think if you asked 100 people what the referendum meant, you would find confusion on the part of 90 of them," said former Metro chairman David Wolff.
Many people probably believed voting "yes" would help Metro expand transit, though a "no" vote would have given the agency more money, he said.
Metro officials backed the plan in order to keep suburban opponents of rail appeased, Wolff said, adding, "I feel like they had a gun to their head."
This ballot was written to be confusing more or less......voting AGAINST THE RERENDUM
would have allowed Metro to help fund light rail, by having better control over the purse things......even the radio ads FOR THE REFERENDUM had the view that you were supporting METRO, but they never mentioned light rail in those ads, and hence people who probably figured it light rail was included were left confused and now light rail expansion in Houston like this map suggest won't be funded for over decade unless another source of funding is found........