To fund transit, Wake County drivers face 2 new fees

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County drivers are now paying more for their license plate and registration fees.

A new fee took effect on July 1, and another one is coming soon in August.

The money is going to transportation improvements, including expanded rail and bus service.

Wake County leaders said the improvements are to help accommodate the growth in the county. About 450 people move to Wake County each week.

Voters already approved a half cent increase to the county sales tax rate for transportation. Now, as part of the Wake Transit plan, the county is charging a $7 vehicle registration tax. That started July 1.

Starting August 1, Wake County drivers also will pay an extra $3 as part of regional registration tax.

“We’re a rapidly growing region,” said Mike Charbonneau, GoTriangle Communications Director. “Transit is so important. It provides the only means of transportation for some people to get to work, school and other important places.”

Charbonneau said the region’s transit plan’s vision is coming to fruition in the form of downtown Raleigh’s Union Station. In the next decade, there will be 20 miles of improvements in congested areas, including dedicated bus lanes. Also, there will be a 37-mile commuter rail system connecting Garner and Durham.

Drivers we spoke with were divided on the merits of the investment.

“I think that’s a good move, and I think we’re moving in the right direction,” said Patrick Boyle, Cary resident.

“I’m not a huge fan because taxes, they add up,” said Carlee Wintermute, Raleigh resident.

Phase One of Union Station, including a larger waiting room and more amenities for Amtrak passengers, should be completed by the end of this year.

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