State Senate Approves Fox Cities RTA Plan

Speaker Vos Says Bill Won't Be Taken Up By Assembly

Appleton, pictured above, is one of the municipalities along the Fox River known as the "Fox Cities. Photo: RoyalBroil (CC-BY-SA)

The state Senate has overwhelmingly passed a bill that would allow for a Fox Cities Regional Transit Authority, but the plan is likely dead for the session.

The plan would let voters in the Fox Cities pass referenda to form an RTA, which would then have the power to levy a sales tax of up to 0.25 percent to pay for buses.

Sen. Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, who serves as Senate president, said it’s no different than the way the state lets local residents take votes to make other big decisions.

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“If they want to exceed the revenue control, we’ve got a provision in there – they can exceed the revenue control,” said Ellis. “If they want to exceed their debt, they can go and ask the people – the people vote yes.

Despite a 25-to-7 vote in the Senate, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says the bill is dead on arrival in his chamber. Vos says he’s against raising local sales taxes to pay for transportation.