RTA millage rejected by metro Detroit voters

November 9, 2016 | By Frank Witsil & Eric D. Lawerence | Detroit Free Press

Macomb, Oakland voters override support in Wayne and Washtenaw

636141342517619072-rta-millageThe Regional Transit Authority millage appears to have been defeated, with unofficial vote tallies for all but one precinct in the four-county area where it was proposed.

The tax appears to have failed by about 18,000 votes.

Voters in Wayne and Washtenaw counties supported the tax, approving it 359,244 to 322,447, and 93,994 to 73,270, respectively. It fell short, by 1,109 votes in Oakland county, where the tally was 293,510 against and 292,401 in support. But, the opposition was greatest in Macomb county, with a vote of 222,806 no to 148,159 yes.

One precinct in Wayne County with 1,093 registered voters had not reported returns, but it did not appear to be enough to tip the balance, even if every voter in the precinct supported it.

The RTA will not be able to try again for a millage for another two years.

Supporters argued that the region needs a connected public transportation system to compete with other metropolitan areas, most of which spend significantly more per capita on transit than southeast Michigan does, and to help those who do not own a vehicle or are unable to drive get to work, education, health care or recreation.

Opponents argued it was a massive tax hike for services residents already supported through fees and other taxes and that it would anchor the region to an outdated transportation network.

View full article at Detroit Free Press

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