A combination of federal, state and local dollars, as well as transit fares, will be used to build, operate and maintain the bus and rail system in this plan, but a new dedicated source of local funds will be needed. Senate Bill 176, passed during the 2014 Indiana Legislative Session, authorizes six counties to create referenda for transit funding. Marion, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson, and Madison Counties can determine the amount of funding to be approved using their existing local option income tax; the amount can be anywhere between 0.1% to 0.25%. Once the question of funding is placed on a ballot, voters will get the final say.
It will cost approximately $1.3B to build the first phase in Marion and Hamilton counties in 10-years and will cost $136M annually to operate once complete in 2021.
Counties would each decide individually when to put this matter on the ballot, and would not be subject to a new tax until after the residents of that county voted to become part of the system. The plan contemplates that Marion and Hamilton County voters would consider the issue via referendum in an upcoming election, with other counties choosing to vote on the issue in later elections following the completion of their feasibility studies.