Fedor Statement on RTA Sales Tax Provision in Senate Bill 19
June 23, 2021
Today, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) issued the following statement after the House Ways and Means Committee amended Senate Bill 19 – legislation regarding wetland mitigation – to reverse the provisions enacted in the Transportation Budget to authorize the levy of a sales tax for transit in Lucas County:
“Currently, the Toledo Regional Area Transit Authority (TARTA) is the only one of Ohio’s major regional transit systems that is not yet county-wide and the only one still using property tax for funding. Without adequate support, TARTA will lose its ability to provide good transportation service to keep people working, expand economic growth for our region and bolster access to health care.
“Lucas County has polled residents for their thoughts on sales tax versus property tax since 2008. In every poll, sales tax is preferred overwhelmingly by voters. The removal of the TARTA amendment in Senate Bill 19 undermines the authority of county residents, who deserve to be the ones to decide how their transit system is funded.”
As amended, Senate Bill 19 limits voters’ ability to approve a higher RTA sales tax and use tax. It also authorizes a higher rate only if every local government that is a member of the RTA approves the higher rate before the question of the tax is submitted to voters. It also prohibits the RTA from levying property tax under any circumstances if levying and collecting sales and use tax. Under current law, the RTA may levy property tax to pay debt charges on bonds or notes issued if sales and use tax revenue is insufficient to pay those debts