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Government & Politics

Transit Advocates Rally for Greater Cleveland RTA Tax on Fall Ballot

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GREATER CLEVELAND REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY

Transit advocates held a rally in downtown Cleveland Monday, renewing calls for the Regional Transit Authority to put a property tax levy on the fall ballot.

For months, the volunteer-run group called Clevelanders for Public Transit has been lobbying the RTA Board to give the tax levy a chance. Akshai Singh is an organizer for the group. He says the county needs a local solution. Especially after last year when it lost about $20 million it got from taxes on Medicaid managed care organizations last year.

"We can't only be focused on if the state's going to come through when they've been failing us so long," Singh says.

The deadline to file ballot measures is August 8. And Singh says he knows it's a long shot. But he hopes the rally will push transit officials to act with more urgency, given the current RTA head, Joe Calabrese is expected to retire in a couple years.

"We need to look for a new CEO, we need someone who has a vision that can be sold to RTA," Singh says.

Last month, the RTA board commissioned a study on the agency’s economic impact, and Calabrese said question about a possible tax levy should wait until that’s done.