The City council should oppose the legislative creation of the S.E. Regional Transit Authority, known as SERTA, to start the KRM construction process in 2010.
SERTA is designed to—and eventually will—take total control of all transit operations in S.E. Wisconsin, which includes Racine and the Belle Urban System.
1. The SERTA tax is touted to take transit off the property tax rolls.
Technically this is correct. But to what advantage to the City of Racine property taxpayer? The City budget will not decrease by that amount. Spending in other parts of the bureaucracy will increase to fill that void. Property taxpayers in the City will continue paying what they had been paying in property taxes with an additional Transit Tax.
2. SERTA, the new taxing authority, will be controlled by Milwaukee.
Five of the nine SERTA board members are from Milwaukee, appointed by the Mayor and County Executive of Milwaukee and the Governor of Wisconsin.
3. The Milwaukee County Transit System is virtually bankrupt and they need additional funds from wherever they can get them. How the Transit Tax (the money going to SERTA) gets spent will be determined by this SERTA Board. Milwaukee most certainly would like to see SERTA in control. SERTA would give the Milwaukee system a broader reach for funds, going into Kenosha and Racine Counties.
4. The Racine BUS will lose the current $4.3 million in state and federal assistance it receives. The BUS will be controlled by Milwaukee, and will find itself competing for money for its Racine operations with a larger, destitute Milwaukee system.
What is the real support for KRM??
1. Ask RCEDC for a statement regarding the importance of commuter rail in their search for new businesses.
2. Ask RAMAC for a statement regarding how many new jobs current
employers will commit to add if KRM actually get built.
3. Ask SERTA for current KRM ridership projections with facts to back it up.
4. Via a referendum, ask the people if they want KRM
And finally, two observations.
1. Downtown Racine to O'Hare Field is 65 mils and 80 to 90 minutes by car. KRM is 3 hours, 2 trains & 2 cabs.
2. Case/IH to CNH Global, Burr Ridge, IT.- is 80.5 miles and 90 - 100 minutes by car. KRM is 3lh hours, 3 trains and 3 cabs.
These comments are a summary of the information given in the handout I distributed at the January 19, 2010 City Council Meeting and can be found at the Racine Taxpayers Association website.
2 years ago