Northern Indiana Regional Rail District Creation (November 2009)
The Northern Indiana Regional Rail District Creation appeared on the November 3 ballot in Lake County, LaPorte County, Porter County and St. Joseph County. La Porte County and Lake County did not participate in the special election. The measure was defeated.
|Rail District Creation|
This referendum sought to create a regional rail system between these four counties in the northern Indiana region. It also sought to extend the bus system in Lake and Porter counties to the other two counties within the rail system region. Voter's decided if they wanted an extra $.25 tax on their incomes in the counties, giving them the choice if they want the rail system built. The measure was approved by the state, but they wanted to get local agreement before they moved on the project. The referendum only needed a positive vote in two of the four counties in order to move forward. So if a resident in one county, which did not approve the referendum, worked in another county that did, they would still pay the tax for the rail system.
A problem that arose was the fact that only two of the four counties who are designated in the referendum were actually ready for the November vote. Porter and St. Joseph counties kept to the election schedule, printing out ballots to save money instead of using voting machines. Opponents of the referendum wanted the state to pay for the special election. Lake and LaPorte both refused to fund the special election, if the referendum was held in 2010 there would have been almost no cost to the counties since it was a general election year. Since the vote was state mandated, some saw it as the reason for state funding. The two counties who were issuing the election were taking it seriously.
- The News Dispatch, "Voters say no to transit district," November 4, 2009 (dead link)
- 2009 Special Elections pg.8
- Indiana Economic Digest, "Northwest Indiana transit future up to tax-leery voters," July 5, 2009
- Post Tribune, "Only two of four counties preparing for special election," September 25, 2009 (dead link)
- Chesterton Tribune, "NICTD board neutral on transit referendum," September 28, 2009