A half-cent sales tax to fund transit improvements and a light-rail transit system could pass more easily in Orange County now that it’s gained support in Durham, officials say.
On Nov. 8, Durham County approved a referendum for a half-cent sales tax, which will help fund bus, commuter rail and light-rail services between Orange, Wake and Durham counties.
A similar tax needs to be approved in both Orange and Wake before Durham can spend money from the tax, Chapel Hill Town Council member Ed Harrison said.
He said the earliest the half-cent sales tax would be put to referendum in Orange County would be in the May primary election.
Brad Schulz, communications officer for Triangle Transit, said the Orange County Board of Commissioners should create a final plan for routing in early 2012 and decide the best time to put the half-cent sales tax to referendum.
The half-cent tax would come in addition to a separate quarter-cent sales tax increase passed in Orange County to be used for economic development and education.