August primary ballot: MTA millage won’t cost you more

The request is a renewal and consolidation of all three millages that support the MTA’s day-to-day operations.
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 6:07 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (7/24/2020) - Whether you're voting absentee or plan to cast your ballot at the polls in less than two weeks, the MTA is asking you to check the box renewing its countywide millage.

The request is a renewal and consolidation of all three millages that support their operations.

Since 1996, the MTA has operated with the help of three different millages. You've likely seen a request for a renewal nearly every year on your ballot.

This year, CEO Ed Benning said they're combining all three. The MTA is asking for one replacement renewal millage. If passed, you will pay the same amount over the next five years.

“It takes me to my volunteering, the doctor’s office, the pharmacy, anywhere I need to go really,” Ashley Seymour said.

She utilizes the MTA's Your Ride service several times a week. She's what she calls 'totally blind,' so the bus helps her be independent.

“People with disabilities, and seniors and veterans, we don’t always have someone to take us places, sometimes we need MTA transportation service,” she explained. “So, this really gives us the ability to come and go as we need to.”

Seymour said if the millage doesn't pass, her life will completely change.

Hundreds of riders could be impacted.

Benning said the MTA needs the $11-million the millage will generate if voters support the ballot proposal.

“You know, one of the things we’re seeing is that the need for specialized services are growing in our community. People are living much longer; and as a result, they need more medical transportation,” he explained.

Benning isn't sure which services would take a hit if voters turn it down; but he said, there's no doubt, it'll make an impact.

“We would have to make adjustments, you know, when you’re talking $11 million. And for us to lose a portion of that, it would be a real setback,” Benning said.

MTA has lost state funding over the years because there's just not enough to give them.

Benning explained by law, Michigan is supposed to pay 50-percent of MTA's operating costs, but the state hasn't always been able to pay that much.

And, with the coronavirus pandemic stressing budgets even more, he said support for the millage would bridge that critical gap in funding.

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