Cultural Assets Are Important, But Let’s Not Forget Transit
Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. Calls for Transit Funding. If New Public Backing for Regional Cultural Assets is Approved
Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr., Chairman of the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee, today said that if any measure to increase public support for regional cultural assets is approved, it should include funding for transit as well as cultural assets.
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce recently issued a task force report saying that cultural assets such as the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and the Milwaukee County Zoo need more public support.
Mayo applauded the findings of the task force, but he said that public transit must be considered if any new tax revenue is generated to support the cultural assets.
“No one disputes that our cultural assets need and deserve more support,” Mayo said. “But transit is crucial to both the quality of life and economic development in Milwaukee County and the entire region. Cultural assets are fine, but you still need to get people to them, and public transit is the only option for some people. That’s why we should not forget transit in any new revenue generating scheme.”
The MMAC task force report said new public money should be used to fund capital projects for cultural assets. It said that regional cultural assets have about $250 million in capital needs, and that a five-year, half-cent sales tax would generate about $325 million.
“Our transit system is under-funded, and we need to bolster our support in order to get people to their jobs, to the doctor, to the grocery store or other important destinations,” Mayo said. “Our cultural assets are part of what makes living in Milwaukee County and surrounding counties special. But transit is just as important to quality of life in this region as cultural assets. It is also an important component of regional economic development so that people can get to where the jobs are.”
“Yes, let’s fund our cultural assets, but let’s add transit to the mix.”
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