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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Friday, April 13, 2007

RTA Shame

As we have written about here before, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has proposed a 650% increase in a rental car user fee from $2 to $15.The $2 fee was instituted in 2005.

Since that time the $2 rental fee has raised approximately $500,000 in taxes.

$496,000 of that money has been used up in a lobbying contract to raise taxes even higher for the proposed KRM (Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee) rail line.

Yes $496,000 of $500,000 in tax money went to lobbyists to try to raise taxes higher.

There is a press conference/rally scheduled for this Monday the 16th of April at the Port of Milwaukee, the site of the scheduled RTA meeting, to bring this information forward to the public.

In a cowardly move, the RTA has cancelled their meeting, but the rally will go on.

Scheduled to speak are Chris Klisemet of Citizens for Responsible Government, Mark Block of Americans for Prosperity, and myself.

The total annual cost of the proposed transit (including capital cost amortization) is expected to consist of an 82% government subsidy --- Taxpayers pay 58% of the $10,900,000 annual operating cost and 100% of the $15,000,000 annual capital amortization cost. Annual cost to taxpayers is $21,300,000; riders, $4,600,000 (that is ---eventually, when ridership peaks).

The RTA wants to tell you that this is tax we will not pay, not true. Fully half of all rental car business comes from the local area. And if taxes are jacked up on rental cars insurance policies that include rental car coverage will be increased to cover the costs. Those increased premiums we will all pay.

And what happens when this revenue line does raise enough revenue to pay for the operating shortfall?

Think about it.

Add that to the fact that the proposed rail line going all along the Kenosha to Milwaukee corridor does not even include a stop at the airport and what do you have?

Transit for transit sake, and a bad plan at that.

I'm all for mass transit, but the KRM line is nothing but a mass folly being thrust upon the taxpayers of the region.

$496,000 of $500,000 to hire lobbyists to increase taxes.



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