The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees Monday approved the placement of a permanent 0.8% sales tax levy on the March 2020 ballot in Hamilton County.
The sales tax would fully fund the Reinventing Metro Plan, which the Board approved in January.
The money would be used for service improvements, which includes updating the Metro bus fleet, new transit centers and park and rides, adding new routes, longer service hours, increased frequency and improved service for Access, which serves individuals with disabilities.
25 percent of the fund will be used for infrastructure projects in Hamilton County.
The deadline to place the levy on the March 17, 2020 ballot is December 18.
S.O.R.T.A. currently receives local funding from a 0.3% City of Cincinnati earnings tax that was designated by its voters to be used for transportation purposes.
A charter amendment on the November 2019 City of Cincinnati ballot, if approved, will eliminate that earnings tax on the condition that the electors of Hamilton County pass a sales tax in 2020 for general revenues for SORTA bus operations and related infrastructure improvements
Without an improved and sustainable funding source, Metro is facing a $160.5 million projected deficit over the next 10 years, which would require significant service reductions and fare increases, while further reducing our regions access to jobs and much needed services.
To learn more about the Reinventing Metro Plan, visitReinventingMetro.com.