Community Support

2017 Public Input Sessions

In August 2016 the County Executive’s Office partnered with the Zeidler Center to gather input from County residents to help shape the 2017 Proposed Budget.  At the sessions, attended by 123 people and summarized in this report, County residents voiced their support for transit and for the County Executive’s SAVE Transit plan in particular. 


Letters of Support

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Wisconsin:   “A vehicle registration fee is the only option the County can implement on its own that will meet the needs of our transportation system.”


Milwaukee County Combined Community Services Board: “As advocates for individuals with disabilities, mental health and substance abuse issues, we know that increased investment in transit is increased investment in the quality of life of the people we serve… Dedicated funding for transportation is needed to ensure our transit lines don’t have to be reduced, but can instead be built upon…”  


GRAEF: “…the vehicle registration fee has the greatest potential for a transformative effect on the employment landscape in Milwaukee County. Without a vehicle registration fee, the likelihood of being able to increase transit access to jobs that are outside of the current system would be slim, while the likelihood of reducing service would be much greater.”


Metro Go: “Transit provides crucial support for job growth and economic competitiveness, ensuring workers, shoppers and students arrive at their destination… Now is the critical time to preserve and strengthen our transportation system by… instituting a vehicle registration fee, a dedicated funding source that will provide stable and sustainable revenue.”


Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce:  “Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele’s SAVE (Sustainable, Affordable, Visionary, and Efficient) [Transit] Plan shows leadership in addressing the challenges facing Milwaukee County’s transportation and transit infrastructure and makes responsible choices to address those needs. By creating a county user fee for motorists and investing the proceeds generated into needed road repairs and our existing transit system’s capital needs, the County Executive has shown leadership on the county level.  The County Executive’s proposal for Milwaukee County shines a spotlight on the need for state leaders to show similar leadership in finding a responsible, sustainable, long-term funding solution for the state’s transportation infrastructure needs as well.”


Milwaukee Transit Riders Union:  “We believe that the VRF is important as a stable funding source for MCTS, which is one of the only major transit systems in the nation without a dedicated local funding source.”


Milwaukee County Transit Services Advisory Committee:  “We know full well the importance of a strong, sustainable transit system. We also know only too well the difficulty in which the County has been put in the past years with funding cuts from the State. While a Vehicle Registration Fee (VRF) might not be the ideal solution to help fix this funding crisis, without action by the Legislature and approval by the Governor, it’s the only option available.”


Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce:  “There are nearly 50,000 veterans and 5,300 veteran owned businesses that call Milwaukee home. A strong, robust, sustainable transportation system is vital to the success of Milwaukee’s veteran community. Those who have served their country deserve every opportunity to succeed in their post-military life. Many of these veterans depend on public transportation to get to their job. For those veterans who own a business in Milwaukee, transit plays an even more critical role in providing transportation to their employees as well as their customers. The success of Milwaukee’s veterans is tied to the strength of our transit system.”


Public Policy Forum: “… we conclude that the County now must "come up with something big" if it wishes to move toward a permanent solution in 2017……Yes, policymakers can develop another round of short-term fixes that will put off the tough decisions for another year. But in doing so, they will only create a bigger problem for the future.”


Milwaukee County Comptroller:  “As a result of this analysis, I believe that the County needs this revenue if it is to maintain the County’s portion of the local transportation systems including highways, the bus system, and parkways…...Thus, even at the $60 rate, choices between funding either capital needs or operating needs will have to be made.   Many more choices will be needed if the VRF rate is reduced to $30 or $0, including cuts to all areas of the County.  The establishment of a VRF as a new revenue source is a viable solution to funding the transportation needs of Milwaukee County.”


What our Constituents are Telling Us

Many Milwaukee County residents have contacted us about the County Executive’s SAVE Transit Plan.  Below is a snapshot of what they are telling us:


“Wheel taxes are common all over the country.  Good for you to try to get this through!!  Push back in the Milwaukee community  is weird because often the voter does not understand the connection between automobiles, truck, buses and the condition of the streets.  Keep telling folks how much other states or communities pay in wheel taxes."


“While all of us do not like paying more each year for things like this, what you want to use the money for does make sense”


“Just finished reading an article about your proposed $60.00 tax on registration fees and can honestly say this doesn’t bother me, conversely if this proposal would have been made by Milwaukee Mayor Barret I would have been very upset. The difference is that your office knows how to manage itself and I trust you.”


“I fully support your proposed vehicle fee to support public transportation, as long as it creates a dedicated funding source.  Thank you. “

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