Mayor Tom Barrett will support a 0.3% sales tax increase to fund local transit and the KRM commuter rail line, according to city Director of Administration Sharon Robinson. That's a start, but it's not enough. The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission projects massive cuts in MCTS service levels over the next few years if additional funding isn't found. The .25% transit sales tax (the other .05% would be for the KRM) Barrett is suggesting would take the funding burden off the backs of property tax payers, but would provide only a very modest increase in transit funding. The Milwaukee County Transit System still would be in a death spriral, just one with a few more spins around.
The proposal ain't perfect, but Barrett at least is looking for new funding sources for transit. The guy who should be heading up that effort -- County Executive Scott Walker -- is hiding in a corner somewhere, doing his damndest to make sure no one can accuse him of leadership.
Mission accomplished, Scottie.
Ald. Michael Murphy wondered aloud last week why Walker won't support a sales tax for transit, as it would be direct property tax relief and would ease the overall transit tax burden for the folks who live here.
It's simple, Michael: Walker just sucks at his job.