The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Business

February 4, 2014

Senate passes mass transit bill

(Continued)

Despite some of the drawbacks, Lanane said he still supports the bill and thinks a mass transit system is critically important for central Indiana.

As for the chances of mass transit being created in Madison County, Lanane said officials he's talked to would enjoy having the opportunity to talk about it.

In addition to Marion and Madison counties, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock and Johnson counties will also have the option of adding the mass transit system. Miller said she expects Hendricks County to be added when the bill gets to the House.

She said the fiscal body for a county that wants to join would have to adopt an ordinance. The ordinance would then go to the voters as a referendum where they could approve it or vote it down. The voters would also get to choose how much of a tax increase they would be willing to tolerate. Miller said the scale could go from a 0.1 percent increase all the way up to 0.25 percent.

If voters approved it, the ordinance would then go back to the county's fiscal body for further approval.

Under the bill, those using the transportation would have to pay 25 percent of the costs through their ticket. The additional 75 percent of the costs for building a transit fleet would come through funding, taxpayers and money from corporations.

How it's being funding didn't sit well with some lawmakers. Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, said he doesn't think the 25-75 split is fair to taxpayers.

"I pay enough in taxes," Young said. "I don't want to pay more. If it works, it ought to be able to pay for itself."

Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.

Counties who could create mass transit programs under new law - Delaware County - Hamilton County - Hancock County - Johnson County - Marion County - Madison County

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