Washington County Voters: Vote YES for Transit Sales Tax on May 22!
The Washington County (Arkansas) Quorum Court will vote at their March 2012 meeting on the question of placing on the May 2012 election ballot a measure to fund public transportation in the county with a 1/4-cent (0.25%) sales-tax increase. This is 25¢--a quarter!--out of a $100-dollar purchase, a bargain by comparison to communities of similar size with successful, full-service bus systems.
Ozark Regional Transit is a publicly-funded, nonprofit group chartered by local governments to provide public transportation services to northwest Arkansas residents. ORT, which has been chronically underfunded by the local governments of Washington County and Benton County, now faces major budget cuts from the loss of federal grants. Without significant local funding increases to supplant the lost federal monies, ORT will be forced to make drastic cuts, reducing it to little more than a taxi service for a very limited number of the thousands of disabled, lower-income, and fixed-income residents who depend entirely on ORT as their only source of transportation. These dire service cuts would wreak havoc in the lives of many disadvantaged Washington County residents, and the negative impacts of failing to fund ORT at a level that will not only keep the current level of service running but will provide sufficient revenue to enable ORT to expand the number of routes and the frequency of services that will make public transit attractive to auto commuters as an alternative mode of travel to and from work, to sporting events and cultural attractions, and as an economical alternative to paying ever-rising costs for gasoline, car payments and auto insurance.
Please sign this petition to send a clear and convincing message to the County Quorum Court (Justices of the Peace) that county residents stand together in support of Ozark Regional Transit and firmly in favor of assuring efficient, reliable, affordable, environmentally sound public transportation in northwest Arkansas.
--Arkansans for Transportation Alternatives
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