Municipalities continue to opt for transit referendums

Photo by Eiji Miura via stock.xchng

West of the I municipalities continue to opt for letting voters have a say on new taxes to support a regional public transportation.

Last week, Silver Lake and Paddock Lake opted for Nov. 2 referendums on the issue. This week, Randall authorized essentially the same vote.

Previously, Bristol and Twin Lakes had approved such votes.

The municipalities are being asked to consider the referendums by state Rep. Samantha Kerkman. Erin Decker, a county supervisor from Silver Lake who tried ot get a county-wide referendum approved, has appeared at some of those municipal meetings to advocate for the public votes. Decker’s proposal for a countywide referendum — as Racine County will have  — died in committee for lack of  a second.

“They don’t want a referendum because they know people don’t want it,” Decker said of east of the I officials.

Much of the opposition from Western Kenosha County municipal officials to transit taxes seems to center on the  proposed KRM rail line, which would connect Kenosha via rail line to Milwaukee.

For example, last Thursday, Randall Plan Commission Chairman Charles Gitzinger pointed out just traveling to the rail station in Kenosha from Randall would likely take as long as driving straight to Milwaukee.

“I don’t see any particular value to KRM to people way out here,” Gitzinger said. He also contended economic growth happens along road ways, not rail lines.

The Southeastern Regional Transit Authority already has authority to levy a tax on car rentals to support the KRM. However, some opponents contend that if that proves unworkable, the authority may opt for a sales tax increase.


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