Mass transit tax hike passes, still needs approval from council

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MARION COUNTY, Ind. – Voters give the green light to improve the city’s public transportation system, but plans aren’t a done deal quite yet.

Marion County residents voted for a tax increase in order to pay for a better bus system. IndyGo wants to add more routes, running earlier and later in the day. The tax increase is proposed to be 25 cents for every $100.  For example, if you’re making $40,000 annually, you could pay up to $100 extra.

“Being able to get more people mobile that helps strengthen a city and strengthens families which makes us the city we want to be,” said Shannon MacVean- Brown with IndyCAN.

IndyCan is an organization that pushed the measure for months.  Even though it passed with the voters, it still has to pass with city officials.

“Now they’ve got to do their part because the people have spoken,” said MacVean-Brown.

City-County Council has the final say on the proposal.  Council members can approve, deny or even lower the tax.

“As it stands now I will, probably vote another no vote,” explains Jason Holliday, city-county council member.

Holliday represents Decatur Township, one of the areas that won’t see the enhanced service.

“It doesn’t make sense to me. From where I stand in representing these people that we expand and improve so to speak, existing things and leave others with nothing,” said Holliday.

IndyGo riders want the city to stick with expanding the bus schedule.

“It is worth it because some people don’t have rides to get to school or back to work and sometimes people don’t have cars to get back,” said Oliver.

If the proposal passes as is, it would generate $56 million.  Some of the new tax revenue could be used towards the Red Line, an electric rapid transit line which would run from Westfield to Greenwood when finished.

City-county council members are expected to hear the proposal at the start of the year.

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