An efficient transportation system is critical for the economic viability of our community as well as the livability for our citizens. Wake County currently is reimbursed less than 70% of the money we pay to DOT in taxes and fees. These payments are based on the legislatively approved "Equity Formula" which directs money disproportionately to counties with less traffic congestion. The formula is based on 50% - population, 25% - the number of unpaved interstate highways and 25% - equally based on the number of highway districts in the state.
The rationale for this formula is that the more rural counties need a disproportionate share of highway dollars to help them attract new industry. There are many other considerations that companies use to make location decisions such as the quality of the educational system, the availability of qualified employees, property and income tax considerations as well as environmental quality of life issues. Simply adding additional highway dollars to rural counties has not proven to provide the incentives companies need to locate in these areas. At the same time urban areas like Wake County are suffering from the lack of funds to keep up with congestion.
The "Equity Formula" needs to be revised to include a congestion index criterion. Congestion is currently not even considered when distributing highway dollars! Urban areas are the economic engines for the entire state and we need to revise the formula to make sure we have the dollars we need to keep ahead of our transportation needs.