Rally Backs Penny-per-Gallon Memphis Gas Tax

Chanting “One cent makes sense,” about 20 backers of a proposed gasoline tax to support Memphis Area Transit Authority rallied at the public transportation agency’s facility Friday to urge voters to approve the duty, according to The Commercial Appeal.
“Of course nobody wants more taxes, but one cent per gallon means you’d have to drive 100 miles before it would cost you a nickel,” said Scott Banburry, conservation chairman of the Sierra Club’s local Chickasaw Group. “If you drive 10,000 miles in a year, it’s only $5 for the entire year.”
City Councilman Edmund Ford Jr. proposed the referendum, which asks voters to approve a one-cent tax on every gallon of gasoline purchased in Memphis. If it’s approved, the tax could provide as much as $3 million to MATA.
“We have an opportunity before us where we can show our citizens we care about public transportation,” said Ford.
For years the city has subsidized MATA with funds from its operating and capital improvement program budgets, and MATA officials have repeatedly pleaded with city officials for a dedicated funding source.
MATA has a budget of more than $50 million; last year $22 million of that was contributed by the city. For the current fiscal year, the city cut its contribution to MATA by $250,000.

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