Mill Levy Increase For Missoula Bus Services To Appear On Ballot - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Mill Levy Increase For Missoula Bus Services To Appear On Ballot

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MISSOULA -

Ballots are about to be mailed for the November 5 election next week. Some Missoula voters will have a chance to vote on a proposed mill levy increase to improve Mountain Line Bus services. The public bus system's first mill levy request in almost 40 years.

Next week voters in Missoula's Urban Transportation District will see a general mill levy increase of $1.7 million annually in operating funds for Mountain Line bus services on their ballot.

With the November election nearing, groups like "Friends of Mountain Line" are already showing their view on the measure. The group is made up of more than 40 local businesses, organizations and community leaders.

"Mountain Line is really an important part of Missoula. It makes sure that students can get to school, and employees have a way to get to work, and seniors and people with disabilities can remain independent," said Derek Goldman with Friends of Mountain Line.

If approved, the mill levy would fund services like vans for senior citizens and people with disabilities, allow for late evening bus service, and increase bus frequency for frequent riders like William Suthers. He uses the bus route on a daily basis and said the lack of late night buses creates a problem for him.

"Walking home between downtown here, at like St. Pats hospital to 42nd Avenue, up on the hill, is a long way, it's long way," Suthers said.

While a levy increase would expand services at Mountain Line, some worry their taxes would take a hike.

"I've talked to other people about that, and some people are against it, of course, because of their taxation. There is a lot of taxation," Suthers said.

The requested levy is permanent, increasing taxes on a home valued at $100,000 by $19.11 annually, and on a home valued at $200,000 by $38.24 annually.

Voters will receive ballots for this November's election on or around Tuesday, October 22. Completed ballots must be in by 8 p.m. on November 5. For information on drop off locations, visit the Missoula County Elections webpage or call 258-4751.

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