Largest parks tie-up in Raleigh history could create aquatic center, city park, expansions Ten
RALEIGH, North Carolina – Raleigh voters are deciding whether they’re willing to pay higher taxes to improve parks, trails and greenways.
WRAL News examines how much the parks bond referendum would cost the typical homeowner.
Currently, the median home value in the city is just under $258,000. The tax rate would increase by four cents on every $100 of a home’s value. This adds up to $103 more to their annual tax bill.
What would Raleigh voters get for their money?
The $275 million parks bond includes 20 projects.
- $54 million would go to Chavis Park for a new aquatic center and upgrades.
- $43 million would help cover the construction of the Gipson Play Plaza and plan the next phase of improvements at Dix Park.
- $29.5 million is earmarked for the redevelopment of Tarboro Road Park.
- $21 million would go to a bicycle and pedestrian path along Lake Wheeler Road near Dix Park.
- The Sertoma Art Center would receive over $15 million for a renovation and expansion.
- Projects also include improving greenways and pathways and preparing to transform this city maintenance yard along Capitol Boulevard into a new urban park.
Mitchell Silver, former Raleigh planning director and commissioner of parks in New York, is co-chair of the campaign which put up signs reading “Yes for the Parks Bond” across the city.
“We look at equity and access to make sure every community deserves a quality park,” he says. “Big cities invest in their parks, they take care of their parks, and this one is important. 12:46:33 Don’t just look at the cost. Look at the value.”
Affordable housing and inflation: Some voters say there are bigger concerns than Raleigh parks
Not all voters think now is the time to focus on expanding Raleigh’s parks.
Lisa Hughet opposes the parks bail, saying her property taxes for that bail alone will go up by $200.
She says now is not the right time for this link.
“Right now, with inflation and rising costs, people are really burdened with costs,” she says.
She joined a handful of speakers who called on city council to consider more funding for affordable housing before putting parks on the ballot.
“I think it’s completely out of proportion to what we need in the city,” she says.
Raleigh voters weigh that balance on their ballots.
Jill Balogh, whose 3-year-old granddaughter Veda loves visiting the Chavis Park playground, knows there’s a price to pay for this free fun in their town.
“I don’t have a problem with that. I’m willing to pay more taxes to get the services we need in the city,” she says.
This parks obligation is the largest in the history of the city. The last bond town voters approved in 2020 were for affordable housing. Since 1980, voters have passed $150 million in housing bonds and nearly $230 for parks.
You can vote in advance until Saturday, November 5 or election day on Tuesday, November 8.