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New proposal for Shelby County funding Mata should get serious consideration, says Otis Sanford

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on the latest proposal for MATA ...

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Local 24 News political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on the latest proposal for MATA funding.

The fits and starts over how Shelby County governmentcan provide funding for Memphis Area Transit Authority has a new start. It is aproposal to add a $20 vehicle privilege tax on all vehicles registered in thecounty.

I believe this one should get serious consideration bythe commission, because it’s probably the best alternative for getting MATAfunding done.

County Mayor Lee Harris’ proposals to put a $145sustainability fee on all vehicles beyond two in a household went nowhere. Anda plan from Commissioner Willie Brooks to add $20 to the unpopular wheel taxbombed as well.

For all practical purposes, this new proposal is thesame as the wheel tax increase, but it will be listed separately on the annualcertificate of registration that vehicle owners receive. And the fact is – anew tax is really unavoidable if the county is going to help finance MATA.

Plus, in addition to the $9 million that would go toMATA, this new proposal would provide about $3.8 million for the sheriff’sdepartment to hire new deputies. It will be difficult for anyone to argueagainst adding more officers for county law enforcement.

Getting the required nine votes will still be tricky.But getting more workers to jobs through public transportation is vital. Andthis is very likely the best route to making that happen. And that’s my pointof view.