Lucas County likes TARTA financing plan

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TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Riders on the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority can only use the bus system for a few hours a day and only go to certain parts of Lucas County.

Right now, TARTA $13 million a year through charging a millage on property owners.

But TARTA wants voters to approve a plan that would increase the county sales tax from 7.25 percent to 7.75 percent.

James Gee with TARTA says, "It will allow us to put our service where people need it, it allows us to get folks to work who need it, it allows us to serve the seniors and disable who have no other access."

The sales tax hike would generate about $30 million.

Since TARTA only needs $20 million for its plans, the other $10 million would go back to Toledo, Lucas County and the seven TARTA-served communities within the county.

That money that would then be earmarked for road repair.

County Engineer Keith Earley says, "Our revenue has not gone up in 17 years when costs have doubled. we certainly need the money."

That rebate for road work enticed county commissioners who Tuesday voted to include the county in the TARTA service system.

Commissioner Tina Skeldon-Wozniak says, "I think this is a solid package that peopole should look at."

And by changing to a sales tax, property taxes in the county could drop about $87.20 per $100,000 of assessed value.

And by rebating money to communities for road work, cities like Waterville could get an extra $150,000 to fix streets.

Jim Valtin, a councilman in Waterville says the plan, "Doesn't sound like a bad deal. Obviously, it would be up to voters to decide what they think."

But first, seven county communities have to agree to put it on November's ballot.

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