Transit authority board will not propose a sales tax levy to boost bus service this fall

CINCINNATI -- Voters will not get the chance to approve or deny a sales tax levy this fall to boost bus service, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority announced late Tuesday.

The announcement came less than a day before the authority was set to take a vote on the matter during a special board meeting Wednesday morning.

Via a press release Tuesday afternoon, SORTA Board of Trustees Chair Kreg Keesee said:

It has become clear to me that we have not reached an appropriate consensus within the Board and the community to vote tomorrow to present Hamilton County voters with a sales tax option to address the significant financial and operational needs of the Metro bus system. I do not believe that the current environment provides a clear path to victory at the polls even if consensus had been reached.

Transit administrators presented the board last year with six options for a potential sales tax levy, ranging from 0.5 percent to 1 percent. The board resolved last summer to explore sales tax levy options for the 2018 ballot in order to address a looming $184 million budget shortfall over the next 10 years.

Cincinnati Metro remains the only major metropolitan bus system in Ohio to not receive funding through a county-wide sales tax.

WCPO will update this story as it develops.

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