Tax increase will benefit bus system

Published 12/05 2013 04:44PM

Updated 12/05 2013 05:34PM

CHAMPAIGN -- In one month, more than one million people rode the CUMTD. That ridership is an all-time high for the bus system. Now, it says it's raising property taxes to keep up with the trend.

People could see an increase up to 4.9%. MTD says it's not a choice anyone wants to make, but it had to be done. Broken down into dollars-and-cents, as of now, MTD levies about $6.7 million in taxes from CU residents. With this hike, it could get up to $7 million.

MTD says employees got a salary increase and it has to pay more for their healthcare. The director says the hike is also needed because of expansions in service. Starting next month, buses will run on Sundays. It's a day they're normally shut down.

People get it, but they think MTD could lose some customers because of the hike. MTD says it's tried to offset costs without a tax hike.

One strategy was to increase the cost of annual passes from $60 to $72. The tax hike goes into effect on next summer's taxes.

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