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METRO Chairman believes agency should reclaim mobility funds

Needed for 1st-class transit

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David Wolff, the soon-to-depart chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO), thinks it’s time for serious discussions about allowing METRO to retain its one-cent sales tax, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The story notes that METRO, since 1987, has provided more than $1.6 billion from sales tax revenues in general mobility funds to the city of Houston and other local governments.  The story adds:

This money, a quarter of Metro’s one-cent sales tax, isn’t used for public transportation, which is the agency’s mandate. It’s used for road reconstruction, drainage and other infrastructure projects. Wolff thinks it’s time for serious discussions about allowing Metro to retain this money for transit.

During Thursday’s METRO board meeting, Wolff is quoted as saying, “It should happen, I believe, if Houston is going to have a first-class transit system.  Originally, it was Metro’s money. It was taken away in the ‘80s. Houston has to decide what kind of city it’s going to be.”

Mike Snyder, author of the article, concludes by writing, “I’ve asked Parker’s spokeswoman, Janice Evans, if the mayor is receptive to discussions of this issue. I’ll post her reply when I get it.”

Full story.

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