( Hamilton County ) - The results of the primary election in Hamilton County have now been certified, and Issue 7 is a yes.
The levy raises the sales tax to pay for expanded bus service and road improvements. It passed with 67,698 voting in favor, versus 66,718 voting against. That margin isn't close enough to trigger an automatic recount.
It's something Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is celebrating:
Starting later this year, the sales tax in Hamilton County will increase by 0.8% to go up to 7.8%, the largest sales tax increase in the history of the county. Passage of Issue 7 also means that Cincinnati Issue 22, which passed last year, will go into effect. It lowers the city earnings tax by 0.3%.
The money raised will expand funding for Metro by $50,000,00 per year, plus another $30,000,00 per year for infrastructure improvements. That infrastructure money will be for projects such as replacing the Western Hills Viaduct.
Kreg Keessee, the chair of the Southern Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) that manages Queen City Metro, says "we're thrilled, and looking forward to delivering on the promises that were made during the campaign." Keessee says expanding the bus service means an increase in bus frequency, and that makes taking the bus a more practical option.
Results of all races/issues in Hamilton County can be found here.