Contact: Rep. Kremer
Madison, Wisconsin – Yesterday, the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) voted on its transportation portion of the State Biennial Budget and included two major policy provisions introduced by Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) relating to the funding of the Milwaukee Street Car. For the second consecutive session, Rep. Kremer vigorously pursued language through legislation and via a budget motion to ensure the state’s transportation coffers weren’t used to funnel additional future funds to the streetcar’s costs.
After hearing the action of JFC, Rep. Kremer stated, “It took two legislative terms, but I am proud to report that the cost to operate a Milwaukee streetcar will never be placed on the backs of taxpayers statewide. The Joint Committee on Finance approved our budget motion during their most recent meeting. As it stood, there was the looming threat that the City of Milwaukee could reach out to the mass transit portion of the State Transportation fund for up to 3.5 million annually.”
State taxpayers have already contributed generously to the streetcar’s construction with over $69 million in federal handouts. Beyond that, Rep. Kremer learned that the city was quietly attempting to locate funds for the streetcar through the use of Tax Incremental Districts (TID) funds. “An additional provision to the adopted budget language will also prevent Tax Incremental Districts (TIDs) from being gerrymandered to funnel funds for construction or operations of a streetcar in any municipality statewide” Rep. Kremer went on to add.
Rep. Kremer represents the 59th Assembly District which includes Southern Calumet, Western Sheboygan, Northern Washington and Eastern Fond du Lac Counties. Rep. Kremer’s office will continue to be located at 17 West in the Wisconsin State Capitol, and he can be reached at (608) 266-9175 or by e-mail at Rep.Kremer@legis.wisconsin.gov. His legislative website can be found at www.RepKremer.com.