IBJNews

Mass-transit bill amended, ready for House vote

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A bill to let voters authorize higher taxes in central Indiana to pay for an expanded mass-transit system is ready for a full vote in the House after an amendment restricted who would be affected by it.

House Bill 1011 would now apply only to the more urban and suburban areas of the region and exempt rural townships from both voting on whether to authorize the taxes and paying the taxes.

Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, offered the amendment to exempt rural areas — those farthest from Indianapolis — from the legislation. Supporters of the change said the mass-transit program won’t reach those areas and, therefore, the people who live there shouldn’t have to pay the taxes to support the program.

Turner said it’s likely many of those residents would have voted against the tax hikes and could have made the $1.3 billion project less likely to succeed.

“Even the proponents would say that the opportunity to move to mass transit might actually be enhanced because those in the perimeter would not count,” Turner said.

The House approved the amendment on a voice vote and the bill is now eligible for full House passage. A vote could come as early as Thursday.

The bill cleared the House Ways and Means Committee a week ago on a 20-2 vote.

The bill creates a referendum that — if approved — would let counties raise income taxes by 0.3 percent to pay for more buses, more routes to more places and, eventually, the construction of a commuter rail system between Marion and Hamilton counties.

For a family with taxable income of $75,000, the potential tax hike would be roughly $225 per year.

The earliest possible date for ballot issues in Marion and Hamilton counties would be the 2014 general election.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • a joke
    they dont even fill the available mass transit that is in place now, just another thing to say "they have", but can't pay for or keep safe
  • Community benefit
    I do not have any children, yet I pay taxes to support our public schools. (And I am happy to do so as a public duty.) There is such a thing as a social contract. Still I do see the argument that it might actually help transit succeed if the rural areas aren't included in the referendum because those voters might put the kibosh on it. (I just wonder how much of a revenue hit this would be.)
  • Wow
    MrGadget that is laughable! Name one public transit system in the country that is completely fee funded... There isn't one. People who think like you are the reason we have the worst public transportation system of any large city in the nation. Ridiculous....
  • User Pays
    Let the users pay for mass transit and let it be privately operated without subsidy. If there is sufficient demand, the busses will roll, 'till the wee hours even. If there isn't, call a cab (the on demand public transportation service). Too expensive? Perhaps consider getting a job closer to home, or a home closer to work.
  • Another amendment...
    We who do no have children and choose not to own a motor vehicle want to make sure that any part of our paid taxes currently used to fund public education and build/ maintain roads are diverted to fund mass transit, instead. Lol...
    • You're already exempt
      There are no rural roads in Marion County, where you live. We pay for the roads in our county through our county of residence taxes.
    • Another amendment
      We who live in the downtown area would also like an amendment allowing us to opt out of paying for rural roads that we too will never use. Can Representative Turner put that one in for us?

      Post a comment to this story

      COMMENTS POLICY
      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
       
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
       
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
       
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
       
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
       

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by
      ADVERTISEMENT

      facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
       
      Subscribe to IBJ
      1. Now if he'd just stay there...

      2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

      3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

      4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

      5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

      ADVERTISEMENT