Wisconsin State Assembly Raises Rail Line-Funding Rental Car Fee

A state budget move by Wisconsin Assembly democrats would raise the rental car fee to fund the proposed Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail line, according to the Kenosha News and the Associated Press.

The increase would raise the fee on rental car transactions in Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee counties from $16 to $18, with the extra $2 going toward bus service in Kenosha and Racine. Each city’s transit operation would receive $1 per rental car transaction.

The move is against the wishes of the Kenosha area transit director, who has favored a sales tax model. Sales tax proponents say a sales tax is a more stable source of transit funding. Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said the change was a response to the Federal Transportation Authority’s desire to see revenue streams dedicated specifically to transit.

Gov. Jim Doyle originally proposed to allow the three counties to set up a regional transit authority that would be able to collect up to a 0.5 percent sales tax to fund all transit operations.

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