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A study by a local government agency in Raleigh reports that over a 15 year period (1991-2005) Wake County paid “about $186 million” a year in transportation taxes – while the DOT only spent “$132 million per year” to build roads here.

In other words DOT took $54 million a year in highway taxes – paid in Wake County – and spent them elsewhere. Over fifteen years that’s almost a billion dollars that could have been spent to build roads in Wake County. (News and Observer; 1-18-07).

What happened? Politics.

DOT has a formula which guides its “spending for road construction” – and after legislators finished scrambling for money for their districts, when the smoke cleared, Raleigh ended up on the short end of the stick.

How are local governments and DOT dealing with the problem? One way is toll roads – which means people in Wake County send $54 million a year in transportation taxes to other counties – then pay tolls to build roads here.

So, when driving down I-540, as you pay your first toll, remember, the politicians sent almost a billion dollars in Wake County transportation taxes – somewhere else.

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