Proposed transit tax derailed

Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, July 3 newspaper on Page A1. 

Putting an Athens County transit tax on the November ballot is now looking highly unlikely.

Officials from Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action (HAPCAP) had recently asked the county commissioners if they would be “comfortable thinking about” putting a 0.25 sales tax on the November ballot to expand public transit in the county. Ohio law allows a separate 0.25 percent sales tax for transit purposes.

HAPCAP operates Athens Public Transit, and the idea is to expand that by having fixed bus routes to other areas of the county and also expand Athens On Demand to serve members of the general public not on fixed routes. On Aug. 1, a six-month pilot project funded by donations will provide bus service to Nelsonville and Albany.

In May, the commissioners responded that they needed more information, and also cautioned HAPCAP officials of the importance of garnering support from people outside of Athens for such a countywide tax.

Click here to read the rest of the story in the Athens Messenger.