LUCAS COUNTY (WTOL) - TARTA has been hoping to expand service throughout Lucas County, but at a cost.
The potential expansion to be passed with a 'yes' vote by every community it reaches because it involves charging a new tax.
But on Tuesday night, Sylvania Township Board of trustees voted to shut down the proposed sales tax by TARTA, which could possibly have big ramifications here in Lucas County.
Sylvania Township effectively killed the county-wide proposal by voting down the added tax, for the second year in a row.
Ottawa Hills and Maumee already voted 'yes', but Ohio law states that all regions must approve a change from a property tax to a sales tax in order for it to be put on the ballot.
Transit advocates are pushing for improved service, added transport for those in our community who can't afford cars, and to make for a greener city.
The sales tax would have replaced two current property tax levies that TARTA says aren't paying the bills.
TARTA General Manager, James Gee expressed his extreme disappointment at the decision.
"We will continue to be status quo with the property tax which, unfortunately for our passengers, is a series of continuous cuts, because of declining property tax revenues," said Gee.
The 0.4% sales tax increase may yield more money than the transit authority needs for the expansion, but 0.3% wouldn't be enough.
John Jennewine, 1 of the 3 trustees for Sylvania Township expressed that he is just trying to do what's best for his constituents and they have a lot of unanswered questions.
"What the people of this community see is empty, large busses going up and down the streets and they get frustrated as to, you know, why doesn't somebody change that? Why don't we improve that, and how are we improving that? Instead, they just want more money," Jennewine said.
TARTA offered to defer Tuesday's vote to a later meeting, and to discuss charging less or changing the terms.
After waiting a year since turning down the last proposal, Sylvania Township trustees and residents didn't think another couple of weeks would make a difference.
Concerned citizens wanted to make sure their hesitations didn't get muted if this was brought to all of Lucas County to vote on.
There was also talk that an increase in sales tax would encourage residents to shop for big ticket items elsewhere, and a question as to why increasing the cost of riding the bus wasn't an option.