The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) Board of Trustees will meet at 5 p.m., Monday, Sept. 30, at Metro’s offices at 602 Main St., 12th floor
, to decide whether or not to place a Hamilton County sales tax on the March or November 2020 ballot and, if so, at what level.
As a regional transit authority, SORTA can place a sales tax initiative on the ballot to be considered by the voters of Hamilton County by submitting the request to the Hamilton County Board of Elections. The deadline to place the levy on the March 17 or November 3 ballot is 90 days prior to the elections.
State law allows a regional transit authority like SORTA to request sales tax in increments of 0.10% or 0.25% (not to exceed 1.5%). SORTA has been considering sales tax options between 0.5% and 1.0%. Ohio law enables SORTA to use a portion of the sales tax for road and infrastructure projects in Hamilton County related to its bus service.
SORTA currently receives local funding from a 0.3% City of Cincinnati earnings tax that was designated by its voters to be used for transportation purposes. A charter amendment on the November 2019 City of Cincinnati ballot, if approved, will eliminate that earnings tax on the condition that the electors of Hamilton County pass a sales tax in 2020 for general revenues for SORTA bus operations and related infrastructure improvements.
The sales tax would fund the Reinventing Metro plan, which was developed with extensive community input over the past four years.
The Reinventing Metro plan includes:
- New bus routes, designed to connect people to jobs in Hamilton County
- More frequent service, more weekend service, more early/late service
- 24-hour service on six major corridors
- New crosstown routes, small-bus circulator service, new transit centers
- Access service expansion consistent with expanding routes for people with disabilities
To learn more about the plan, visit ReinventingMetro.com.
Metro is a non-profit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 14 million rides per year.