Monday, March 25, 2013

Smaller Cities Backed Walker, Get Screwed On Transit Anyway

It's not just the irritating urban voters whose transit systems pay a price in Walker's 2013-'15 transit budget; smaller cities' systems - - like all transit programs in Wisconsin - - will have to compete under that budget with general state programs for regular operation financing - - but will have to compete with larger cities (read: more clout) for federal funding doled out based on population, too.

I'd posted information about this funding issues last year.

Attention, transit system riders and taxpayers in small-to-medium-sized cities:

You might want to think twice about voting for Scott Walker in two weeks, and any state or national GOP legislators when the opportunities arise as well, because the Walker budget along with conservative Congressional ideologues are going to raise your costs next year.
Well, here we are a year later, so check out pages 455-456 in the Legislative Fiscal Bureau's posted budget.

What you will find there is information about transit systems in the pro-Walker, very Republican communities of Hartford and West Bend being transferred to a federal funding category that gets a $277,700 bump in dollars but then forces their smaller-community transit/ride share systems to compete for dollars with larger communities, like Oshkosh or Appleton or Green Bay:
Page 456
...Based on the 2010 decennial census, the City of Hartford and City of West Bend transit systems are now serving a population of 50,000 to 200,000, which results in these systems being in a different federal aid category than the systems were in prior to the newcensus. This recommendation would transfer these two shared-ride taxi systems, and their corresponding state funding, from Tier C to Tier B, in order to correspond with their new federal aid category.
So the smaller cities have grown - - and yes, there's a modest dollop of available federal funding for that tier or non-rural areas - - but now have to compete for that federal funding with larger cities.

Those smaller communities are looking at a funding mirage.

And because voters in these communities do not like to throw more property tax dollars into their transit system operations they can look to either fare increases or cuts in service in great demand by aging populations.


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

If those smaller cities didn't want to get screwed, voting for him isn't nearly enough. They should have become billionaires and BOUGHT his consideration, like Real Americans do.

Anonymous said...

So if they weren't "screwed by Walker" for growing, Hartford and West Bend would be unfairly taking extra transit funding intended for rural areas. They would be moved into Tier B no matter who the governor is. I like you, Jim, but you're really stretching it here.

Of course, the total pool of money should be a lot greater, but that's a separate issue.