Doyle budget could create Madison-area transit authority

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From an article by Jason Stein in the Wisconsin State Journal summarizing Governor Doyle's budgetr provisions, including this one:

Authorizing a Madison-area transportation authority that could levy an up to 0.5 percent sales tax to fund initiatives such as commuter rail. The authority would cover just Madison and its suburbs rather than all of Dane County, which was proposed by local leaders in 2007. The budget also proposes authorizing a total of $120 million in state borrowing to extend high-speed passenger rail from Milwaukee to Madison.

Dane County Board Chairman Scott McDonell said any sales tax increase would need to go to a referendum in the affected areas.

McDonnell said the provision would revive the region’s federal application for a $250 million commuter rail system between Middleton and Sun Prairie. The county’s previous application was withdrawn because the state hadn’t authorized a funding source.
The Madison Peak Oil Group has statement in support of legislation to allow local governments to create transportation authorities.