TARTA officials, who have been making their pitch for a new funding mechanism, added Sylvania Township trustees to their list at the trustees most recent meeting.
James Gee, general manager of the transit authority, aimed his presentation on the need of many people who rely on bus service to get to and from work each day as well as pointing to a future which TARTA says will have an Uber-like service, smaller buses and longer service hours. He also mentioned instituting a van pool taking people to places such as Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Findlay as well as other features.
In the end, what TARTA wants is the institution of a 0.4 percent sales tax to take the place of funding which is now provided by a 2.5-mil property tax.
In order for that to appear on a ballot, the county must become a member of TARTA and that can only be done by a unanimous vote of TARTA members. In addition to Sylvania Township, member governments are Ottawa Hills, Waterville, Sylvania, Maumee and Rossford.
If Lucas County is allowed to become a member, then a county-wide service can be instituted and the county-wide sales tax is possible.
Ottawa Hills village council recently approved the county’s admission. Other governments have not yet acted.
Most members of the audience at the trustees’ meeting supported TARTA’s plan, adding that the voters should at least be given the opportunity to vote on a sales tax increase.
Mr. Gee said that a poll commissioned by the authority showed that Sylvania/Sylvania Township residents would prefer financing TARTA with a sales tax by a 57 to 17 margin.
He acknowledged those numbers were preliminary and that he wasn’t certain as to the wording of that question. He said he would be happy to have the answers and a representative of the polling organization available at the next trustees’ meeting.
It is expected that the trustees will vote on the issue at that meeting, July 17.
Written by: Mike Jones, Public Information Officer
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