Mayors tout RTAs at state capitol.
The mayors of Appleton and Madison praise Assembly action on Regional Transit Authority legislation, which enables local communities to raise the sales tax in order to pay for transportation improvements. Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna emphasizes that it's not a certain increase of .5 percent; it's up for discussion.
“I've seen it happen over and over again on this issue where the media immediately jumps on the half percent sales tax. And what's important is it's different; if we're enabled, the needs are different in different parts of the state and the key words are up to a half percent.”
Hanna says it could be as little as a tenth of a percent increase. Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz ( pronounce ) says if the RTA provision remains in the budget, it will help to improve workforce transportation and better roads in the communities.
“So we know for a fact that if we pass this RTA language, get it through the senate, we are going to improve transit for working people in our community; we know for a fact that we can improve roads faster. And we may, at some point, get light rail — commuter rail — in our community, maybe. There are a lot more hoops on that.”
Wispirg released a new study stressing the significance of RTAs, saying such projects would save money, boost the economy, and reduce oil consumption. Last week the state Assembly approved stronger RTA provisions in their version of the budget bill, which enables four regions in the state to form RTAs, including parts of Dane County, Southeastern Wisconsin, the Fox Cities, and the Chippewa Valley.