A task force last week proposed a local income tax rate increase in the Indianapolis region to finance a $1.3 billion rail and bus system over the next 10 years.

The Central Indiana Transit Task Force last week held a press conference with Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and other local mayors, releasing the plan after three years of study.

The new tax would raise Marion County's local-option income tax to 1.92% from 1.62% and Hamilton County's to 1.3% from 1%.

Voters would need to approve the tax increase, and the Indiana General Assembly needs to approve the measure to get it on the ballot next year.

Financing would include $482 million of bonds and $295 million of federal grants, as well as other sources.

Other counties could decide to put the question on the ballot after conducting feasibility studies, according to the group.

"We used a rigorous economic analysis to lead us to a system that's realistic and affordable while making a significant impact on workforce mobility, economic development, and our overall competitiveness as a region," said a statement by Mark Miles, president of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, one of the task force's members.

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