CHICAGO — An Indiana legislative panel approved a transit proposal for central Indiana Nov. 21 that would rely on new local taxes for financing.
The Central Indiana Transit Study Committee, made up of key lawmakers, voted 12-1 for the plan, which would call for voters in five counties to approve a new income tax on corporations and residents. Sen. Pat Miller, R-Indianapolis, wrote the proposal and is expected to introduce it in the upcoming 2014 session.
Transportation advocates in the state have long pushed for a 10-year, $1.3 billion mass transit plan called IndyConnect that would have included buses and light rail. After failing to gain approval for more than two years, the House finally approved the plan earlier in 2013, but the Senate amended the measure to order a study of the issue.
The latest measure calls for local officials in Marion, Hamilton, Johnson, Madison, and Delaware counties to have the ability to ask voters to raise taxes to finance the new system.
The taxes could come from an increase in the County Economic Development Income Tax, a corporate income tax or a county employment tax, according to local reports.
Fares would have to make up at least 25% of the total cost and operating budget, and corporations would have to cover 10% of the costs.