LexTran Talking Possible Future Tax Hike

LEXINGTON, KY -- LexTran officials say they don't want to sound like alarmists by trotting out the dreaded words ”tax increase,“ but in a couple of years they could be asking taxpayers to dip into their wallets once again to help keep the local bus system afloat, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Saturday edition.

”It's not a foregone conclusion that that's where we'll end up,“ LexTran board member Ann Render said. But, she said, ”I think we'll have to look at it. ... You never close the door to any option.“

In short, in a couple of years or so, LexTran will not be able to continue offering its current level of services without a boost in funding, officials of the bus system told the Herald-Leader.

Four years ago, Lexington residents voted 53 percent to 47 percent in favor of a tax levy of 6 cents per $100 of assessed property value to fund LexTran. The tax is expected to generate more than $15 million this fiscal year.

When the property tax was instituted, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government discontinued giving LexTran a yearly subsidy of several million dollars, reports the newspaper.

After the new tax money started rolling in, LexTran restored services that were cut before the referendum and added services.

But fuel prices have gone up faster and higher than LexTran leaders anticipated. And more people are turning to LexTran because they can no longer afford to gas up their own vehicles, the newspaper reports.

The property tax money makes up 79 percent of the revenue in LexTran's operating budget, LexTran officials said.

LexTran general manager Rocky Burke said that bus fares could be raised, but if they go up too much, people will stop riding.

Fares make up only seven percent of the revenue in LexTran's operating budget, reports The Lexington Herald-Leader.

Copyright-The Lexington Herald-Leader.

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  • by Jack Cornn Location: nicholasville on Feb 15, 2009 at 04:31 PM
    The money Lexington has wasted on Lextran would quite possibly have been sufficient to have purchased a new car for each of the daily riders. The total money involved is astronomical when you consider the equipment, maintenance, salaries, fuel, health care, retirement etc.. I do not believe Lexington is ready or qualified to have a bus sysrem. The taxi andd Limosine service in Lexington is not owned by the city so why not sell Lextran to an individual or business with some operational knowledge of the bus buusiness?
  • by Brian Location: Lexington on Sep 26, 2008 at 04:59 PM
    Well for one thing there not empty if you ride the bus and see that there are people on these buses. Espeicially the Richmond Road and the Leestown routes heck they had to make Richmond Road every 30 minutes to keep up with the passengers. I think Lextran does a fine job and the increase would continue to benefit. What if you were stuck riding a bus to work I'm sure some of you people would sing a different tune.
  • by Howard Location: Lexington on Aug 17, 2008 at 10:00 AM
    I have been a bus rider for years now. Lextran provides a very necessary service to the community. Those who say the buses are empty and their money is being wasted need to wise up and stop acting like ignorant and selfish citizens. Thank you Lextran for offering me a ride to work so I can gladly pay your small tax. Those of you who complain about your taxes should stop picking on public transportation and find a real issue to complain about. You shouldn't have to look far, tax money is wasted all the time.
  • by KentuckyGuy Location: Bluegrass on Jul 21, 2008 at 04:01 AM
    The buses are nearly empty just like school buses. There are too many of those vehicles and too few folks riding either. Get a couple of those "amazing" electric vehicles, that can go almost 30 minutes without a charge, and you will fill the cab every time.
  • by Dave Location: Garden Springs on Jul 20, 2008 at 04:40 PM
    Pull the plug on this white elephant. I am tired of seeing EMPTY busses running around Lexington knowing that OUR property taxes pay for them. Let the Dud and the Don pay for it.
  • by Zatoichi Location: Richmond on Jul 20, 2008 at 06:56 AM
    LEXTRAN and higher and higher taxes...goes together like chicken and dumplings. I thought there was an article a few weeks ago about how the "fuel crisis" was helping LEXTRAN with more ridership and that they were expanding a route or two to pick up workers going downtown.
  • by Chuck Location: Bluegrass on Jul 19, 2008 at 09:08 PM
    You got to be kidding me!! Why doesn't this poorly run system get their act together and become more self supporting. I do not enjoy paying for something I don't use. Maybe you should raise the fairs, especially on the illegals!
  • by Bone on Jul 19, 2008 at 10:22 AM
    Lextran is simply a tax drain
  • by Chuck Location: Lexington on Jul 19, 2008 at 08:47 AM
    Do to the hours. That I work can not take Lextran. Maybe we should look at the raising the fares to ride the Lextran?
  • by Jerry Location: Lex on Jul 19, 2008 at 07:22 AM
    Excuse me??? They need another tax increase so the can continue driving those behemoth buses up and down the streets of Lexington while they are always empty. The people of Lexington were foolish in voting them a tax increase once, I would hope we would not be so ignorant as to do so again. It is doing nothing more than throwing good money away after bad.
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