City, county officials propose new transit taxes, fare hikes
KALAMAZOO -- City and county leaders proposed a two-tiered tax plan Monday for public transit in Kalamazoo County while also recommending that bus fares be increased by 15 cents per trip.This plan is more reasonable than the last one, but the politicians still try to get as much money out of the voters as they think they can. Why should folks in Augusta pay for bus routes they don't use? Why not let the free market provide bus service.
Kalamazoo city taxpayers would pay 1 mill while county taxpayers outside of the city would pay 0.4 mills under the plan proposed by City Manager Kenneth Collard and County Administrator Peter Battani.
The fare hike from $1.35 per trip to $1.50 would be in place by May 1, according to the proposal.
The proposal calls for county voters, including those living in the city, to vote May 5 on a three-year, 0.4-mill levy that would pay for Care-A-Van and bus routes that extend beyond the city of Kalamazoo.
On Nov. 3, city voters would be asked to approve a three-year, 0.6-mill levy to fund Metro Transit.
Before the previous levies expired on Dec. 31, city taxpayers paid 1.38 mills while those in the rest of the county paid 0.38 mills.
Battani said services would have to be cut drastically if voters do not approve both tax requests.That's what they said last time, too.
"If the community knew what was at stake here, they would support it," he said. "There's no question in my mind."
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