Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"More Taxes": The Only Answer on Democrats' Test

It appears as though the Regional Transit concept may be dead in the water for a while.

That's fine--because, as usual, the Democrats have only one answer on their multiple-choice exam: More Taxes.

The Republicans have a different one: Same Tax, Different Destination--which, of course, makes more sense.

After their fourth closed-door summit on the issue, top elected officials broke up Friday without agreeing to any further meetings, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said. Future talks are unlikely unless a compromise emerges on transit funding, they and other meeting participants said.

...The Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine and Kenosha mayors and county executives agreed on the need for an expanded regional transit authority that would run existing local bus systems as well as proposed commuter trains. But they could not reach a consensus on how to replace property tax funding for buses.

Five of the officials - Barrett, Becker, Antaramian, Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson and Kenosha County Executive Allen Kehl - were open to some sort of local sales tax,...[whereas] [t]hree officials - Walker, Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas and Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds - flatly refused to consider any new local tax and instead advocated that some portion of existing state sales or gas taxes be earmarked for transit

Of course, since DarthDoyle (D-Tax'em) stole $400 million from the transportation trust fund, it's not likely that the Democrats can get the money from there, anyway.

Talk about a Party that is out of ideas...


capper said...

And the right's answer is wish upon a star. The left's solution might be unpalatable to you, but at least it's proactive. The rights is non-active.

RAG said...

This is a silly idea made even sillier due to the demographics which the pols seem to ignore.

We already have one of the highest fuel taxes in the nation and folks like Bill McReynolds, the Racine County Executive, appropriately argue that mass transit funding should be assisted by those taxes.

We already have a one-half per cent county sales tax in Kenosha County. Milwaukee, too (plus the Miller Park tax which was also forced on Racine County taxpayers).

We already have Amtrak train service to Milwaukee with new stations in Sturtevant and at Mitchell Field. True, there's no Amtrak stop in Kenosha, but we were promised an Amtrak station when Dairyland Greyhound Park opened. That promise was never kept. It's time to enforce that promise, especially since the mayor and county executive are so gung ho to have Dairyland turn into an Indian gaming casino.

(Of course, old train fans like me will tell you that we wouldn't need to talk about the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee rail link had the late Congressman Les Aspin had his way and Amtrak trains would have been routed on the Chicago and North Western tracks north to Milwaukee instead of on the Milwaukee Road line. The North Western then tore out the second set of tracks north of Kenosha, another dumb move.)

What's really happening, folks, is that the Milwaukee politicians are sucking up to their buddies to pay their bills. We can't let that happen.

Besides that, Mayor Antaramian and County Executive Kehl obviouslyhaven't read boring stuff like commuter demographics.

If they did, they'd find that 30% of Kenosha County's workforce -- and more than two-thirds of Kenosha County's commuters -- work in Illinois. In fact, more Kenosha County residents work in Cook County, Illinois than in Milwaukee County!

Kenosha County taxpayers are taxed enough. Plus, if we should be joining any type of regional transit authority, it ought to be the one where most of our people work.

Here's a novel idea: instead of raising taxes and fees, how about working to grow the economy?