A bill that could give bus systems like Valley Transit more financial security could come up for a vote in the Senate next week. The Senate’s transportation committee tweaked the proposal to create a Fox Cities Regional Transit Authority, which would create a board that could raise the sales tax, by up to a half-cent, to pay for mass transit.
The committee changed the bill this week to allow any excess money to go towards property tax relief. The bill failed to pass during the last two sessions of the Legislature, but Senator Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) thinks it has a better chance now. The Neenah Republican says more lawmakers now realize that many people rely on bus systems to hold a steady job. Representative Penny Bernard Schaber (D-Appleton) is a co-author of the bill. If communities want to join the RTA, voters would have to approve a referendum.