Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele wants to raise taxes on vehicle owners. He proposed a new $60 registration fee as part of his 2017 budget on Thursday.
Without new revenue and some operational changes, Abele said the transit system in Milwaukee County is at risk; fares could rise, service could be cut and routes could be eliminated.
Abele said the wheel tax would generate $27 million in revenue per year. That money would fund:
- All of the county’s transportation infrastructure costs -- annual bus replacements, and county highway, parkway and bridge repairs
- Operating costs related to preserving the GO Pass -- a free transit pass available for eligible seniors or people with disabilities
- An investment in the Bus Rapid Transit line -- a bus line that will run from downtown Milwaukee to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center and the Milwaukee County Research Park in Wauwatosa
The $60 would be on top of the state vehicle registration price ($75) and the city wheel tax ($20 in Milwaukee). In total, vehicle owners in Milwaukee would pay $155.
Abele said the decision to implement the "wheel tax" came after extensive community input.
What do you think about the proposal? Let us know in the comments below