Better Bus Coalition announces ballot language for bus service vote!

Better Bus Coalition is committed to improving Metro service

In case you missed it, we released ballot language for a city of Cincinnati earnings tax increase that would be dedicated to funding Metro bus service. The initiative is intended for the November 2019 election.

It’s no secret that Metro has been forced to make cuts and reduce service for more than a decade because of insufficient funding. As bus riders, we are fed up with the lack of action from elected officials in Cincinnati and Hamilton County, as well as the SORTA Board, which declined last week to put forward a county-wide sales tax initiative for the May 2019 election.

Our proposal increases the city earnings tax by 0.2% and would allow for a significant expansion of bus service, while helping SORTA address its major capital deficit. Cincinnati’s new earnings tax of 2.3% would remain lower than Columbus, Cleveland, and Dayton*.

More from BBC president Cam Hardy: “For at least 8 years they [the SORTA Board] have been punting this issue, leaving bus riders to have to deal with a very inadequate system. We recognize that the problem is bigger than Cincinnati, but while City Hall, the county and the unions fight, we will lead the charge in asking Cincinnati residents to tax themselves a little more so we can have 24 hour bus service, 15 minute frequencies on most routes and more importantly the budget shortfall will be filled. As a bus rider myself, I think it’s important that this issue goes to the taxpayers and then we can let them decide. We have been dictated to long enough when it comes to this issue. We will be heard.”

We will be holding workshops for anyone interested in gathering signatures in the upcoming weeks. You can email us at [email protected] or reach out on social media @BetterBusCo for more information.

Check out these links for more coverage of our ballot initiative from CityBeat,  and WCPO.

*Cincinnati has the lowest earnings tax of any major city in Ohio at 2.1%. Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton have a 2.5% earnings tax, while Toledo is at 2.25%.

Learn more at Better Bus Coalition.

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