RTA Surprises Transit Advocates, Will Consider Tax Levy

[Perry Quan / flickr]
[Perry Quan / flickr]
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The Regional Transit Authority is one step closer to putting a measure on this fall's ballot that would help fund the county's ailing transit system. 

During a Tuesday meeting of the RTA Board, transit advocates from the group Clevelanders for Public Transit called on the agency to put a tax levy before voters this November.

Then, to the surprise of some of the advocates, RTA Board member Trevor Elkins introduced a motion directing the agency to draft, not one, but two possible ballot measures: a sales tax increase and a property tax levy. Board members unanimously approved the motion, which means the clock is now ticking.

For a proposed tax to appear on the fall ballot, the agency would have to approve and file the measure with the county's Board of Elections by August 8th.

“It isn’t a lot of time,” said Marvin Ranaldson, a volunteer with CPT. Nevertheless, Ranaldson said he was hopeful. The Board's decision to move forward with drafting a potential tax levy after months of agitating is a sign that the group's advocacy "is starting to show results," he said.

A spokeswoman for the RTA said that after the proposals are drafted, the Board will debate and discuss them. But she said it's too early to say exactly when that'll happen.

The Board's decision to proceed with drafting new tax proposals to fund the transit system comes less than a day after members of Clevelanders for Public Transit staged a rally near the agency's headquarters in downtown Cleveland.

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