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Tax for Public Transit


May 3, 2012 by Matthew Jones

One of the most widely talked about ballot proposals on the ballot this May, is the 1/4 percent sales tax increase to raise funds for public transportation in Washington County. The tax increase comes from the Washington Quorum court to the voters. This incentive to raise funds for public transit began with a cooperation with Benton County, but Benton County later pulled out and Washington County decided to move forward with the project.

Reasons to vote for the tax increase: The main purpose of the tax increase is to raise funds. As voters we want to receive services from the government, but we do not want our government to go into debt and to be fiscally responsible and to pay for what they spend. Proponents would say that public transit is a much needed service for NWA and that it helps the handicapped and elderly, mostly of Washington County, who cannot drive or get around other ways.

Reasons to vote against the tax increase: It is a tax increase. No one really wants to pay more money to the government. People are budgeting anyways and why give more money away to the government. Also, the tax increase they propose would adversely affect the poor of Washington County. Sales tax is a regressive tax and so poor people share more of the burden than the wealthy.

There are many reasons why you should or should not vote for the new tax increase to pay for expanding public transit in Washington County. Whatever you believe there is one thing that everyone can do and that is go to the polls on May 22nd and vote. Let your voice be heard. Especially when it comes to something that truly does effect your life, taxes. You cannot complain about the increase if you do not let your voice be heard. (I’ll step off from my soap box now!) So take some time to vote on May 22nd.


1 comment »

  1. Brenda says:

    One thing many people don’t know is ORT charges CITIES an annual rate to simply have a route into their city– then ORT ALSO charges the person using the service. Furthermore, ORT recently raised the rates cities are paying for this service. So, now, the cities are paying more, citizens are paying to use it, and now they want to receive MORE funding?
    This tax increase is for “expansion” only– NOT for the services currently provided. If the tax does not pass– it will NOT affect the current services. Much of the advertising has been misleading regarding this fact– and several think that if the tax does not pass, ORT will have to “shut down”– NOT the case! ORT is already receiving the necessary funding from the cities and service users for the services already provided.

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