The Lucas County Citizen Levy Review Committee unanimously approved the sales tax levy proposal presented by the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) at the Committee’s meeting on June 22, 2021.
TARTA’s proposal is to replace a 2.5 mills property tax with a 0.5 percent transit and transportation infrastructure sales tax and expand service across Lucas County. The levy request is for placement on the Nov. 2, 2021 ballot.
“On behalf of the TARTA Board and our dedicated employees, we thank the Lucas County Citizen Levy Review Committee for their unanimous approval of TARTA’s future plans,” said TARTA Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Dunham. “Now more than ever, it is time to ensure that our residents are able to live and work in a region that puts a modern, effective transit system at the forefront of its plans for economic development, job growth and quality of life.”
TARTA’s current annual property tax revenue is $13.5 million, which has declined from $18 million per year since 2008. The proposed 0.5 percent sales tax rate would generate $32 million per year. TARTA’s current annual operating budget is $29 million per year, although with declining local funding, the organization is facing a $58.7 million deficit by 2027 if it is to continue providing the same level of service to the community.
With the new sales tax funding, TARTA would increase and improve service in a number of ways including restoring Sunday service, offer transit service across Lucas County to reach more residents and employers, purchase smaller and modern transit vehicles and technology, and implement a bus system redesign that is currently underway.
Established in 2005, the Citizens Levy Review Committee is tasked with reviewing levy requests that will be presented to the Board of Lucas County Commissioners prior to the Board’s vote to place the tax issues on the ballot.
TARTA also must secure approval of the levy proposal from four out of seven of its local government members to be placed on the upcoming fall ballot. TARTA will be making presentations to its membership in July.
The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) provides a vital link in the Toledo metro area to jobs, education, health care and other destinations. Services are currently offered in Maumee, Ottawa Hills, Rossford, Sylvania, Sylvania Township, Toledo and Waterville. It enables everyone in our community to have access to transportation regardless of their age, race, physical ability or economic background.
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, TARTA is underway with exploring and introducing new initiatives and service options that will enhance convenience and customer experience while moving the Northwest Ohio Region into the future of public transit.