Originally posted to indystar.com on February 21, 2017 by James Briggs.
A proposed tax increase that would pay for a mass transit expansion in Indianapolis is approaching its final hurdle.
The Rules and Public Policy Committee on Tuesday approved the 0.25 percent income tax hike, sending it to the full City-County Council. The council is expected to vote on the issue at its Feb. 27 meeting.
The panel approved the tax hike 5-2, with opposition from Democrat Monroe Gray and Republican Jeff Coats.
Gray suggested there is a lack of demand for bus service in Indianapolis. Looking out at the 50-plus people who attended the committee meeting at 38th Street and Lafayette Road, Gray asked who had arrived on bus. Only two people raised their hands.
“Part of this contract depends on how much the fare box produces,” Gray said of the county’s transit plan, asserting it could suffer from low ridership.
But City-County Council President Maggie Lewis, a supporter of the transit tax, countered that few people could have reached the meeting by using Marion County’s substandard bus service.