Ohio Looks for Ways to Pay Passenger Rail Costs

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Transportation officials say they’ll look for various ways to pay for a new passenger train system without increasing the tax burden for Ohioans.

President Barack Obama says Ohio will get $400 million in federal stimulus money to run trains connecting Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati.

Some Republican state lawmakers have questioned how the state will pay for the train system’s operating subsidy, which Amtrak estimates will be $17 million a year. State Republican Sen. Tom Patton of Strongsville said Thursday he’ll support the train project as long as it doesn’t create a drag on taxpayers.

In its application for stimulus funding, the Ohio Department of Transportation aid it has room in its budget to help pay for the subsidy. It also says revenue would come from advertising, food and beverage services and federal grants.

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