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      Pro-Transit Tax People Speak Out

      Citizens for a Greater Midlands is pushing the one cent sales tax increase.

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - Community members rallying in support of a 1-cent tax increase on the November ballot. The additional revenue benefiting the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority. Urban League President JT McLawhorn backs the tax.

      "We really need a comprehensive transportation system in our community. We have communities now where it takes you forever to travel, impedes emergency vehicles, we have more pollution."

      "If Richland County doesn't do what Charleston, Florence, and York County has done, we'll find ourselves absolutely stagnant in terms of job growth," says Columbia College President Dr. Caroline Whitson.

      The group Citizens for a Greater Midlands acknowledge the concern about a tax increase. "Of course people don't like to see anything cost more, but it will cost us more in the long run in terms of job loss, in terms of economic growth," says Whitson.

      McLawhorn says the revenue will be used appropriately. "I have confidence in our elected authorities, and I think the citizens and the various watchdog groups will be monitoring this very carefully."

      CMRTA Vice-Chair Tommy Windsor says he won't support at tax increase unless all of the revenue goes to the bus system.