Washington County Residents To Vote on Transit Tax

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A proposed tax to help fund Ozark Regional Transit has people on both sides fired up. The pros and cons for the transit tax were discussed in a forum hosted by the City of Fayetteville and the Washington County League of Women Voters.

The tax would charge ȼ25 for every $100 sales purchase. The money would help Ozark Regional Transit match its federal funding grants with local money.

Phil Phumphrey, Ozark Regional Transit executive director, said it will also help expand its six routes in Washington County to 28 routes.

Springdale resident Lynn Carver said, "People are against it because people don't want to pay more in taxes and I understand that nobody likes to pay taxes.”

“However, we pay our taxes to get some mutual benefit from the services that we need and this area can use a public transit system and will use a public transit system,” Carver added.

There were people opposing the tax who said it should include highway improvements and others who don't want the tax at all.

"We are not against helping people who need the system; somebody might not be able to drive,” Fayetteville resident James Lauvler said.

“But for to start running buses between counties, running students 20 miles north, that's just irresponsible," he added.

The panelists included retired Springdale Mayor Jerre Van Hoose and the Northwest Arkansas Regional executive director Jeff Hawkins.

The transit is used in both Benton and Washington counties. The tax ballot issue will be in the May 22nd election in Washington County.