Transit tax talks to begin after referendum

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The city council is preparing to vote on a plan to increase your income taxes. This comes after voters approved a referendum to expand bus service throughout the city.

The process will begin on Monday with the council’s first meeting on the issue.

In November, voters approved a plan to raise their income taxes by 0.25 percent.

That amounts to about $125 a year for someone making a $50,000 salary.

But it adds up to an extra $56 million in dedicated funding for IndyGo.

Voters approved the funding with over 59 percent of the vote.

If the full tax is approved IndyGo wants to expand service by 70 percent.

They say it will mean more buses coming more frequently, service seven days a week, and three rapid transit lines including the often criticized Red Line.

But they also say the payoff could be huge for the now under-served.

“There is broad public support for an investment in transportation options. This is about getting people to work, this is about new opportunity,” said Bryan Luellen, a spokesman for IndyGo. “Public transportation. Reliable all-day, everyday service is a step out of poverty.”

“Having a dedicated funding source is really the only way that we can ever truly expand transit in a way that’s sustainable,” said Colleen Fanning, (R) City-County Council District 2.

Fanning’s district includes Broad Ripple. It voted 64 percent in favor of the transit plan.

The Red Line would run right through it.

The first phase will go down College Avenue and eventually end at the University of Indianapolis.

While critical of the system she says she’s respecting the people’s vote

Monday’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. There will be time for public comment.

A final vote is scheduled for Feb. 27.

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