Board Passes Amendment Asking for Creation of Regional Transit Authority
“Let The People Have Their Say on Transit”
Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. said that action by the County Board Monday takes the County one step closer to a Regional Transit Authority that would be allowed to levy a .5 percent tax levy dedicated for transit services.
The Board passed an amendment by Mayo on a 13-4 vote that includes in the 2016 budget a request for the state to grant authority to create the RTA. If the state does not grant authority for the .5 percent tax levy, the amendment asks that a binding referendum be held to determine public interest in the levy.
“First, I want to thank my colleagues for having the foresight to approve this amendment,” said Mayo, who is Chairman of the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee and a member of the budget-writing Finance, Personnel, and Audit Committee. “They understand that transit is one of the economic engines that drives Milwaukee County, and this amendment will allow us to seek authority to create an RTA and improve transit regionally.
“Transit is what gets people to their jobs, to school, to the doctor or other important destinations. It is a crucial part of the region’s economy and it needs to be enhanced. We have already made transit a regional asset because buses travel between counties. We need to approach transit from a regional point of view, and creating an RTA would allow for a dedicated funding source to this critical service.”
Mayo said that if the state does not grant authority to create an RTA, legislators should allow a binding referendum on the issue.
“Let’s allow residents to be heard on this issue,” Mayo said. “A binding referendum would determine once and for all public support for transit. I believe that residents support an RTA because they understand the important nature of transit to the economy. If Madison doesn’t want to allow us to have an RTA, let’s allow the public to have a voice.”
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