Oregon Mayor Marge Brown and some members of city council last Monday said they were against a proposal to expand the TARTA bus system for all of Lucas County that would be funded by a sales tax instead of the current property tax,
A study from a consultant hired by TARTA recommended in February that a half-cent sales tax would provide service expansion and financial stability to Lucas County, including Oregon.
Oregon has repeatedly resisted efforts by TARTA for bus service in the past.
Brown said a group of mayors from Perrysburg, Maumee, Oregon and Sylvania met over a year and a half as a result of Perrysburg’s desire to leave TARTA. The group will meet again at the end of this month.
“If all the other areas pass this half-cent sales tax, then guess what? We have TARTA,” Brown said to council at a meeting April 6.
The Oregon school board will meet on Tuesday to consider a general fund reduction plan proposed by Superintendent Dr. Mike Zalar that will include significant cuts in certified and classified positions.
The district faces a $1.9 million deficit at the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year. That figure jumps to $7 million the following fiscal year, and $23.4 million in 2012-13.
In the last three years, the district has reduced expenses by approximately $3.5 million. Last year, voters passed a 5.9 mill operating levy.
“The board of education must make some difficult decisions regarding next year’s operating budget,” said Zalar. “Schools are a people business and, like every other school district, 80-85 percent of our operating costs are used to compensate our employees through salaries and benefits. Therefore, the majority of the recommended reductions will directly impact district personnel. I will be recommending that a significant number of certified and classified employees be reduced and that our administrative costs are in line with other high performing low cost districts. This is the only way to regain control of our operating budget that will allow us to change the trajectory of our five-year forecast.”