MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris is adjusting his proposal for increasing MATA funding. Now, Harris says there will be a flat yearly fee of $145 for households and businesses with three or more cars.
In addition, alternative vehicles such as motorcycles, antique cars, trailers, and boats will not be assessed the sustainability fee.
This revision comes after feedback from several community meetings following a September announcement to fund the Memphis Area Transportation Authority
According to a press release, “the plan to raise $10 million for transit will still impact 17% of households, but now those households will face a max of $145 a year.”
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A county spokesperson told FOX13, “The initial estimates were on number of households with three cars. So, there is no change. Fees on subsequent cars would have been in addition to the $10 million. We also didn’t include businesses with three or more cars. $10 million was always a conservative estimate based on the U.S. census data we had.”
Justin Davis, a member of the Memphis Bus Riders Union, agrees that businesses should be stepping up to help. "It’s a shared issue you know this is something our whole community is going to have to work for and that being said, I hope the mayor’s office is going to reach out to the business community just like they’re doing with all these other groups.”
Wanda Halbert, the Shelby County Clerk, pointed out that there’s another fee that hasn’t been factored in. “The mayor obviously hasn’t stopped to think that any time you add a new duty to an organization that means additional work and therefore additional funds will have to follow those."
The mayor’s office said the county commissioners are expected to take a vote on the transit plan in February.
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