Financials & Funding
The KCTA is funded by a property tax millage of 0.4 first approved by the voters of Kalamazoo County in 2009, and renewed in May of 2013. The voters approved a millage renewal to be levied for four years from 2013 through 2016. For a residential property owner with an assessed valuation of $100,000, the tax cost of the 0.4 millage equates to $40 per year.
The KCTA utilizes the taxes raised through the millage to fund Metro County Connect and all fixed-route services in the county that are located outside the City of Kalamazoo. The KCTA contracts with Kalamazoo Metro Transit to provide these public transit services. The property owners in the City of Kalamazoo pay a 0.6 millage to fund the fixed-route bus system located within the City of Kalamazoo.
Property tax is only one source of funding utilized to provide public transit in Kalamazoo County. Funds from the Federal government and the State of Michigan which are dedicated for public transit represent a significant portion of system funding. The other major portion of funding is fare/operational revenue. The chart below depicts funding by source for all components of the transit system. Revenue totaled $3.14 million for the last completed audited year of 2012.
"The KCTA is committed to and makes it one of our highest priorities to be a strong fudiciary of the county taxpayers dollars. We are committed to being transparent and to maximizing every dollar received for quality, region-wide public transportation services." -- Greg Rosine, Vice-Chair
The KCTA fiscal year runs October 1 through September 30. The 2014 Budget was approved by the KCTA Board of Directors during their regularly scheduled meeting on September 23, 2013. To view the current budget, click here.
As recorded in Chapter 13.01 of the Articles of Incorporation, the KCTA, acting as a public authority is required to obtain an annual audit in accordance with sections 6 to 13 of Act No. 2 of the Public Acts of 1968 of Michigan Compiled Laws. To view the 2012 Audit, click here.
The KCTA is funded in part by a property tax millage of 0.4 first approved by the voters of Kalamazoo County in 2009, and renewed in May of 2013. The millage raises approximately $3 million annually. The millage renewal expires in 2016. Continue reading for a summary of the May 2013 millage.
County-Wide Transportation Millage Passes and Moves Forward
On Tuesday May 7, 2013, residents of Kalamazoo County passed the 0.4 millage. With 93 of 94 precincts reporting, about 72 percent of voters approved the renewal -- 11,711 voters have cast "yes" votes and 4,464 voters have cast "no" votes. To learn more about the election results, read the article from the Kalamazoo Gazette Click here
The following is the wording of the millage as it appeared on the May 7th ballot:
The Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority was formed to operate and provide public transportation within the County of Kalamazoo, and seeks renewal of previous authorization from the electors to levy up to 0.4 mills for this purpose. Accordingly, for the purpose of providing public transportation services within Kalamazoo County, shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be imposed on taxable property in Kalamazoo County be continued at 0.4 mills, being 40 cents ($0.40) per Thousand dollars ($1,000) of taxable value on all taxable property in Kalamazoo County for a period of four (4) years, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 It is estimated that 0.4 mills would raise about $3,089,900 in the first year.
Why is a Millage Needed?
A millage is used to fund Metro County Connect, the demand-response service available to all residents, living in all areas of Kalamazoo County. In addition, it funds fixed-route bus service in Portage, Parchment, Comstock Township, Kalamazoo Township, Oshtemo Township, and Texas Township. Public transit services depend on local millage funding. The KCTA millage and City of Kalamazoo millage represent 26% of system funding, passenger fares, and operating revenues account for another 26% of system funding, with Federal and State operating grants providing the remaining 48%. Without the millage the current level of service could not be provided.
Who Does it Benefit?
In 2012, the regional public transit system saw significant ridership growth of over 9% compared to 2011. The total number of riders exceeded 3 million for the first time since 2008. These ridership numbers demonstrates the importance public transit serves to our community to get people to work, to school, to shopping, to medical appointments and many other reasons. Recent surveys show that 73% of people who use the public transit system in Kalamazoo County have no other means of transportation. Passengers include students, seniors, people with disabilities and commuters who chose to leave their cars at home to save money on gas, maintenance and parking.