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Vote YES on the County Referendum

I've written this post a number of times, and keep having problems posting it for some reason. It's been deleted twice by accident. Determined as I am to get the message out, I'll keep it brief. I was concerned about the property tax referendum and so I contacted my County Supervisor, Theodore Lipscomb, of the 1st District, who spent some time informing be about the issues. Here is a some of what I learned: •The Milwaukee County Parks System has deferred nearly $300 million in maintenance costs, and expects greater service cuts in 2009. •MCTS is in even worse condition, heading for a deficit of almost $18 million in the next two years. •In other communities, bus systems have been doing extremely well in the face of higher gas prices. Milwaukee should doing more to promote ridership and take advantage of these tough economic times. •Letting the MCTS fail is not an option. Thousands of people rely on the bus system to get to jobs, schools, and medical services. If the bus system fails, there are no alternatives for these people, and our local economy would suffer greatly. •The county can begin to address these problems by increasing the sales tax for roughly one penny on the dollar. In turn, about 25% of the county's portion of your property tax bill will be reduced. Dedicated funding for these services will be established. And the best part is, Milwaukee County residents will foot a smaller portion of these taxes. They would pay only 60% of the new sales tax. A lot of the information that has been compiled is readily available online, or can be reviewed at jsonline.com. Clearly, there are a number of considerations, and I am not sure that a sales tax is the best way to address these problems. However, the referendum is advisory, and a strong yes vote would send a clear message that Milwaukee County residents care about their parks and care about their transportation services. Perhaps its time to try something new. Especially if its for such important purposes. Vote yes.

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