Indiana mass transit bill gets kicked to summer study committee

Tax and Fiscal Committee weighs proposal

INDIANAPOLIS - A bill that would permit a referendum on mass transit expansion in central Indiana was sent to a summer study committee Tuesday, a setback for advocates of the measure.

Under the proposal, central Indiana voters would decide in a referendum whether to fund the expansion of the transit system by increasing local income taxes.

The bill passed the Senate and Local Government Committee last month. It was being considered in the Tax and Fiscal Committee Tuesday, where key lawmakers questioned the need for a local income tax increase to fund transit.

 

"My colleagues and I in the Senate who represent the district affected by the central Indiana mass transit proposal believe the issue warrants further legislative review," said Sen. Pat Miller, R-Indianapolis. "The House has debated this issue for a couple of years, and they've had a substantially longer time than the few weeks that the Senate has had to look at that."
 
Those who support the measure said it has been studied enough.

The bill could still be brought back on the Senate floor. Supporters are hopeful they can remove the study committee language and reinsert wording that would authorize a referendum in 2014.

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