The Debate Over Ben Franklin Transit Tax Dollars Continues - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Debate Over Ben Franklin Transit Tax Dollars Continues

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Ben Franklin Transit is coming under fire by Franklin County Commissioner Brad Peck. He says the transits budget is too high, but transit leaders disagree.

Peck says the Ben Franklin Transit system is over funded. At Thursday nights meeting Peck asked the board of directors to evaluate the transit systems budget and see if there are ways to cut back, considering the financial struggles this economy is seeing right now.

"I think transits wonderful. But something seem a little out of wack. So I feel a responsibility to try and create dialog and create awareness. At the end of the day, it's the transit board that has the responsibility for making the decision as to whether or not they can do with less," said Peck.

Benton County Commissioner and Board Chairman Leo Bowman says they evaluate the transits budget everyday and the budget is running thin already.

"We've raised rates this year. We have cut back on services this year because the sales tax hasn't come in as strongly as it has in the past and so it has been cut back," said Bowman.

Ben Franklin Transit runs on a $40 million dollar budget. So far they've received over $7 million dollars in stimulus money which has to used on capital projects. They're using that money to expand their main office as well as their maintenance building.

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