The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Politics

May 5, 2014

Council candidates opposed to new tax

Future of mass transit remains unknown

ANDERSON — Candidates running for seats on the Madison County Council are opposed to imposing a new local option income tax to fund a central Indiana mass transit system.

Legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly this year allows six counties to determine whether to create a mass transit system through a referendum vote. The candidates running this year could be asked to vote on the new income tax in the future. It appears unlikely to be included on the 2014 November ballot.

To be placed on the ballot, a majority of the Madison County Tax Council would have to approve a resolution placing the income tax question to the voters. Votes on the tax council are determined by population for all cities and towns in Madison County. County council members also get a vote.

Most candidates seeking election this year are not in favor of implementing a mass transit income tax, stating tax dollars shouldn’t be used to subsidize the service.

Also, from the city of Anderson’s perspective, Mayor Kevin Smith said there have been no conversations asking the City Council to adopt a resolution to start the process.

County council candidates

On Tuesday, Democrats are running for four County Council seats. Three Democrats are seeking the District 3 seat - Paul McLish, Fred Reese and Richard Symmes. One of those three will be selected by voters Tuesday to run in the Nov. 4 general election.

On the Republican ballot Tuesday, two candidates are running for District 1, District 2 and District 4 seats.

Steve Sumner, seeking the Republican Party nomination for the District 2 seat on the Madison County Council, said he didn’t support an additional tax for mass transit.

“If it doesn’t make sense for private investors, there is probably no money in it,” he said. “They’re looking for government to subsidize the service.”

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