Dane County Board votes on creation of RTA - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Dane County Board votes on creation of RTA

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Dane County Board Members worked late into the night to approve the creation of a county regional transit authority.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the board voted 20-16 with one absence in favor of creating an RTA with the power to raise the sales tax in the county to fund transportation initiatives.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- It was standing room only at the city county building in downtown Madison as people weighed in on a controversial issue, the creation of a Regional Transit Authority in Dane County.

The RTA would raise the sales tax to fund expansion of transit through out the area, things like buying Metro from Madison and creating a future commuter rail system.

That sales tax increase would be up to a half a cent, or about $160 a year for the average household in the county.

Supporters, many of whom live outside the Madison, say it would give them options other than driving.

"Please create the RTA so people can have options so we know what to plan for in the future and we the people will have the responsibly whether or not to fund those options," says RTA Supporter Matthew Hill.

Opponents of RTA say it comes at a bad time and want an opportunity to chose for themselves.

"All of us in the county are taxpayers, in today's economy this is the worst time to do this," says RTA opponent Jim Pulvermacher.

A measure that would have allowed people to vote on whether to create an RTA failed.

Some argued that an RTA would not need any public input or county oversight to raise a sales tax.

Dane County Board Chairman Scott McDonnell says the measure creates the RTA committee and nothing else.

He also says that leaders have pledged not to raise taxes without going through referendum first.

 

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