Issue 9 affects students

Sara Macho

The Undergraduate Student Senate passed a resolution Friday supporting Issue 9, a levy in tomorrow’s general election.

If passed, Issue 9 will continue to provide more than half of the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority’s funding. The continuation levy would provide PARTA with $3 million per year for the next five years, and continue the Portage County sales tax of one quarter of 1 percent for use of the bus transportation system.

“I encourage students to go out and vote in favor of this issue,” Ross Miltner, community affairs senator and co-sponsor of the resolution, said. “I think if more students knew what they could lose, they will be more willing to care about the issue passing.”

Bryan Smith, manager of business development for PARTA, said the sales tax levy provides half of the operating expenses.

“If the issue were not to pass, we would have to look at the services we provide,” Smith said.

Miltner said if the levy does not pass, the first cutback would be the amount of routes offered to students. Routes to Streetsboro, Akron and Ravenna could get cut, he said.

Another consequence would be the eventual rise in tuition.

“In the short term, tuition would not increase,” Miltner said. “But in the long term, tuition would rise to cover the loss of money that the tax revenue brings in. The university would have to find that money somewhere else, and it would probably come from students’ pockets.”

The USS strongly urges all Kent State students to vote in favor of passing Portage county ballot Issue 9, according to the resolution.

Contact student politics reporter Sara Macho at [email protected].