Hamilton County voters will be asked for $2.5 billion for bus service.

The sales tax hike if approved by Hamilton County voters would bring in about 130 million dollars per year. The board that runs the Metro bus system has approved the ballot language for the initiative that will appear on the ballot next year.

Under the plan, Metro would use most of the money raised by the new tax to fund operations and the ballot language makes it very clear that none of the levy money would be used for operations or maintenance of Cincinnati's streetcar. If the sales tax is approved, the city earnings tax that funds bus service now would be repealed.

The sales tax hike of 8 tenths of a cent would be levied for a period of 25 years meaning it would generate a total of 2 and a half billion dollars for the bus company. The rest of the money raised about 800 million would be used for public infrastructure projects like building or maintaining roads or bridges.

The Board has decided the measure will be on the ballot in the March primary.

Here is the specific language approved by the SORTA board:

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