State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
Governor Doyle’s proposed 2009-11 state budget includes a provision that would allow southeastern
The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reports a half- cent sales increase to fund RTA’s would cost about $172 per household.
In the early morning hours of May 1, 2009, while you were asleep, the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee was voting to increase your taxes. The committee voted 11-5 to create a board that would have the power to impose a one percent sales tax in
The five members of the board that would set a one percent sales tax increase would not be elected by the voting public, and thus, would not have accountability for their actions.
The committee also voted 12-4 to establish a regional transit authority in
I oppose the creation of boards or authorities with appointed members having taxing power. This is taxation without representation. The power to tax should only come from elected representation.
Hang on to your wallets, there goes millions of dollars. I vehemently oppose these new taxes and Regional Authorities. Our taxes are high enough, and in our darkest hours while we were asleep, the Grim Reaper swiped our credit cards, big time.
There is more. Last month, it was reported that Governor Doyle and other Midwest governors want to use $3.4 billion in stimulus funding to build three high speed rail routes: Chicago to the Twin Cities, Chicago-to-St. Louis and Chicago-to-Detroit. The
Who knows? There might even be talk about light rail in the not too distant future. The following illustrates the folly of light rail.
During December 1993, a Study Advisory Committee appointed by the governor recommended a mass transit plan to facilitate traffic along the I-94 corridor between
The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) stated passengers were expected to be existing mass transit users and that there may be a potential to attract new passengers.
Numbers provided by the LFB and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation demonstrated the massive, if not sinful expense of light rail. The capital costs of the proposed 14-mile light rail line were estimated at $543 million with annual operating costs, in 1992 dollars estimated at $7.7 million. The capital costs of a single busway from
I expressed at the time that it was incomprehensible as to why proponents would want to duplicate services by putting a $543 million light rail and a $257 million busway in the corridor between
The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) also finds the cost of rail to be astronomical, reporting the most cost-effective federally funded systems have required annual subsidies of $5,000 and more per new ride. The WPRI said in a 1998 study that commuter rail would also be ineffective in reducing congestion and would have fewer riders than light rail. The study estimated an East-West Corridor route would cost at least $16,000 annually per new automobile driver attracted, A Chicago corridor would cost $20,000 per year per new automobile driver attracted. The costs would be exponentially higher today.
Add it all up. Commuter or light rail systems are too expensive, fail to attract few riders, and fail to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
Let’s slam the brakes on this mass transit stampede.