In the May 7 primary election, voters throughout Allen County will consider a sales tax levy to support the Allen county Regional Transit Authority (RTA). RTA serves communities throughout the county, not just Lima and Bluffton, and FIVE school districts. They need our help and support to pass the levy!
Lawn signs are in, and we will be assembling them tomorrow, April 6 at 9:30 a.m. in the RTA garage. Canvassing will begin the following weekend. Sign up at www.citizens4RTA.com to get a lawn sign or help canvass. And consider writing a letter to the editor of the Lima News.
FACTS about the Allen County RTA Levy:
What is the May 7th Levy for Allen County RTA and how much will it cost me?
RTA is seeking a very small sales tax increase of one-tenth of one percent which equals 2 CENTS on a $20 purchase. The good thing about this small sales tax increase is that it does not affect income or property taxes or the cost of rent, utilities and groceries.
I have my own car, why should I support the RTA Levy?
Public transportation benefits all county residents, even if you don’t use the services. The workers who ride the buses pay taxes, which add to Allen County’s tax base. Riders use the buses to get to school, medical appointments and local businesses to buy goods and services. Local businesses benefit. Having reliable transportation for people who cannot drive gives our fellow residents the opportunity to be independent and live a fuller life in our community.
Why does RTA need more money?
Because over the past 5 years, federal and state funding has decreased by 30% while the need for services in our county has increased. Here area some statistics:
- In 2018, Allen County RTA provided 46,671 rides for elderly and persons with disabilities from every corner of the county (Delphos, Bluffton, Elida, Spencerville, Harrod, Beaverdam, Lima).
- Currently 47% of ACRTA’s riders are elderly or persons with disabilities and this population is growing.
- Each month, RTA provides 1,475 rides for special needs students from 5 school districts: Shawnee, Bath, Bluffton, Elida and Lima City School Districts. They also transport hearing-impaired children to Findlay and children with Autism to their special school.
- Each month, RTA is now providing more than 1,000 rides for workers to their place of employment.
- Before the RTA was forced to make cuts, in 2017 they were providing nearly 400,000 rides which included 1,000 wheel chair rides a month. When they cut weekend and evening services as well as 3 routes in 2018, that total number dropped by 150,000.
–Allen County RTA Levy FACTS: https://www.citizens4rta.com/issue