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Rally planned against Perrysburg’s TARTA opt-out referendum

A rally pushing to vote down the TARTA opt-out referendum in Perrysburg is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Levis Commons.

The opt-out referendum will be on Tuesday’s ballot, which could make Perrysburg the first of nine communities to exit the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority.

Hilton Garden Inn general manager Izzet Sozeri, who is against the referendum, is expected to speak at the rally, to be held at his hotel from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Mr. Sozeri said he is against the referendum because 30 to 35 of his estimated 100 employees rely on the bus to get to work and would be hurt if the city loses public transportation.

The city is rushing ahead to place the opt-out on the ballot without having an alternative transit plan ready in place, a move that is like “putting the buggy in front of the horse,” he said.

Perrysburg council members officials have argued the city is being overcharged with the estimated $1.5 million in property taxes to TARTA compared to the level of service it gets in return.

If the opt-out referendum passes Tuesday, officials said they plan to put an alternative property tax-funded transit plan on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Contact Gabrielle Russon at: grusson@theblade.com or 419-724-6026.

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