Austin voters will have their say on the $1.39 billion Urban Rail proposal this November. A total of $600 million in property taxes would be used to leverage matching federal funds. Austin leaders have not said where they plan to obtain the other roughly $200 million to build the entire route, as previously proposed.
City Council voted unanimously Thursday to put the rail proposal on the ballot.
If approved, an urban rail line would be built up East Riverside Drive, across Lady Bird Lake on a to-be-built bridge, through downtown, a tunnel under the Hancock Center and up to Austin Community College’s new Highland campus.
Project planners say by 2030 the line would carry about 18,000 passengers a day and could take as many as 10,000 cars off area roadways during weekday travel times.
Voters won’t only be deciding on the rail. About $400 million would be used to improve city and state roads in the Austin area. That money must be allocated before the money would be unlocked for the rail project.
The plan would essentially max out the city’s bonding capacity and would raise the property tax rate by 6.25 cents per $100 of property value. Austin's budget office says the owner of a home currently assessed at $200,000 would pay an additional $217 a year in property taxes by 2020.
- See more at: http://austin.twcnews.com/content/303843/council-puts-urban-rail-proposal-on-november-ballot/#sthash.AcZwEmta.dpuf
Note: this post has been edited to reflect the edits made by Time Warner in their story