The new state budget allows an increase in the car rental fee in Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee counties from $2 to $18. The money would be used to fund the proposed KRM passenger train that connects Chicago to Milwaukee. Proponents of the hike say out-of-towners can help foot the bill.
However, Dave Fantle with Visit Milwaukee says that's a misconception. He notes a lot of a car rentals are done by locals in many cases by persons whose vehicles are being repaired.
Fantle says Visit Milwaukee does not oppose KRM just the funding mechanism. The group is more in favor a potential half cent sales tax increase to help pay for a three county regional transit authority , an idea that Doyle at one time was in favor of, but vetoed this budget.
Fantle is concerned with the car rental tax they are "robbing Peter to pay Paul," as he claims car rental fees normally go to tourism promotion and development, rather than transit. He adds tourism is a $2.7 billion industry in greater Milwaukee which paid $426 million in state and local taxes.