It is understandable for anyone to be wary of what appears to be a tax hike, but the TARTA sales-tax plan isn’t a tax hike (June 19, “Not all on board with TARTA sales-tax plan”).
The sales-tax proposal, if adopted by the TARTA member communities, would allow for a choice in the way TARTA is funded and allow for our regional transit system to be more than a patchwork quilt.
The TARTA proposal would extend routes and increase service hours, expand TARTA and TARPS service to all of Lucas County and Rossford, reduce property taxes, and increase the overall value of our community. The TARTA proposal is unique. It also will generate revenue to be used to maintain local streets.
New and extended routes would increase access to jobs, health-care facilities, and other destinations. Longer service hours will provide an adequate transportation option for second and third-shift workers.
Door-to-door TARPS service would be available to all Lucas County residents with disabilities. All residents and visitors to Lucas County would have access to any point in the county through fixed-line or Call-a-Ride services. All of Lucas County would be a part of the transit system, including Oregon and Springfield Township.
The TARTA plan, if adopted, will eliminate the two existing TARTA property tax levies. The Transit and Road Repair Sales Tax will be 0.5 percent, only 10 cents on every $20 purchase.
Communities with good public transportation not only have a better quality of life, good public transportation is an economic driver. Good public transportation helps reduce “brain-drain” and attract and retain millennials who prefer to live in areas with access to good public transportation.
Another item to consider is as citizens in our area get older, good public transportation allows for people to maintain independence and age in place. Residential property values perform better on average if they are located near good public transportation.
If the TARTA plan is adopted, projections show it could raise more than $10 million annually for roadways, bridges, and sidewalks in Lucas County and Rossford.
TARTA is the only major transit authority in the state that relies on property-tax levies. The time is right for a change.
The TARTA plan/Lucas County Transit and Road Repair Sales Tax is a win for Lucas County.
The notion that folks will rush to Wood County if the sales tax is increased is purely anecdotal and is meant to prevent Lucas County from moving forward in a positive way that benefits both the community and economy.
President and business agent for Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 697
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