Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Milwaukee County Might Create A Transit Authority

I said "might," because the sales tax needed to finance it - - removing the cost from the property tax and bolstering the floundering bus system - - may end up being on the ballot again.

The sales tax plan that passed in a recent referendum was advisory, so it is not clear if that could count as taxing authorization. And surely there would be litigation, so I don't see Milwaukee County actually any closer to solving its bus and transit dilemma.

Larry Sandler at the Journal Sentinel has all the details.

And the issue will be trapped in the gubernatorial campaign, as Scott Walker, though overseeing the failing system, opposes the sales tax remedy.

Go figure.


Anon Jim said...

If a 51% to 49% vote on the previous Parks/EMS/Transit 1% sales tax vote is considered overwhelming, why not put the proposed RTA 0.5% sales tax on the ballot again?

(Btw that must make Scott Brown's 5 point win over Coakley an absolute landsilde.)

It would pass "overwhelmingly" again since we can't have too many RTA's, right?

And it would be a win-win - The Milwaukee County RTA could then merge with the SEW RTA and they could still keep both the sales tax and the rental car tax.

Either way the necessary funding for the buses will still not be solved, since buses would become even more of a transit red-headed stepchild to black hole of spending needed for your precious choo-choo trains.

SocratesChildren said...

I would imagine AnonJim might be happy if we voted on this referendum over and over until he gets the result he wants. However, making him happy is not the issue at hand.

The referendum passed. The bus system would die without dedicated funding.

He needs to get over his doubts and join us to help re-build the Milwaukee bus system with the tools the electorate wants.

As the CEOs said at last week's press conference: modern transit is not a "want" it is a "need"

Anonymous said...

I would much rather have this idea, then the stupid high speed rail system. I've been to Providence, Rhode Island, which is pretty much Milwaukee's twin, and there transit system is hooked up with MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. You can hop on a commuter rail to go up to Boston or a bus if you wanted to. It would be like us going to Chicago, Madison, or Green Bay.