Thursday, November 13, 2008

Community leaders urge minorities not to support KRM tax

This has the smell of State Legislator Robin Vos and Racine County Executive Bill McReynold all over it. Both have been against KRM, only when it comes to the entire county paying for it says Insider News Publisher Kenneth Lumpkin.

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority called Monday Nov. 10 for the Legislature to turn the authority into a permanent agency that would oversee all public buses and commuter trains in a three-county region, funded by a sales tax of up to 0.5%.

The recommendation also calls for cutting western Racine County out of the new RTA, and for giving municipalities the power to levy a 0.15% sales taxes to fund public transit services.

The proposed transit sales tax should replace all property taxes now used for public transit in Milwaukee, Kenosha and eastern Racine counties, the RTA recommended. The sales tax also would raise additional revenue to expand the Milwaukee County, Racine and Kenosha transit systems and to build and operate a new commuter train line, the KRM Commuter Link, connecting Milwaukee and its southern suburbs to Racine and Kenosha. The board approved the sales tax recommendations 6-1.

Beverly Hicks, president of the local branch of the NAACP said the proposed tax reminds her of the dreadful regressive stadium tax that discriminated against the poor. “The burden of this tax should not be on one population or one segment of the County,” explained Hicks.

Al Gardner, a community activist for jobs, said that he supports commuter rail but is against McReynolds’ method of taxation which essentially divides Racine County into two tax districts. “He just wants to tax one side and that is the east and not the west. You can’t have a government doing that, it’s unfair.”

A sale tax would put the burden primarily on poor people who would get less usage out of KRM than other segments in the community, suggested Lumpkin, a former Racine County Board supervisor. He said he opposed the sales tax because it was regressive and hit the pockets of poor people the most. “Now government wants to place an even greater burden on the poor at a time when our economy is devastated.”
He added, “It seems that the western end of the county has their elected officials serving their best interest, while our officals are looking out for big companies and not the little people.”
Lumpkin says he will lobby Racine’s elected officials not to support any sale tax increase until a comprehensive plan is laid out showing how the minority community will benefit from KRM. He said that he also wants to know how inner-city residents will be assured job opportunities are available to them if the commuter rail project goes through.


colt said...

I hope that the "Leadership" in Racine hears the call on this.
As well I hope the readers of The Insider understand that they should expect many taxes and fee to sky rocket since the Political Leadership in Wisconsin thinks that they (the leadership) have a mandate to do so.

KRM would only exist for the few rich whites in Racine as a "P/C" way to travel around the thought that the working poor would take this (but would have to pay for KRM) is just silly

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely hilarious! The white, liberal elites like Becker advocate for KRM because it will help low-income people get to and from jobs (complete joke by the way) but now the low-income folks see through the scam and want to fight it. Elect Obama and the promise of a free lunch but complain when it turns out that YOU might have to pay more.

Anonymous said...

Is Lumpkin against all sales taxes? Or is he just looking for his share of the pork? What makes him think that his portion of the citizenry (poor blacks??) deserves any more or less special treatment than the west-enders?
What a panderer.

Anonymous said...

This proves my suspicions....Beverly Hicks is a complete idiot.

Anonymous said...

Look at my fellow conservatives! There they go, glumly shuffling along, depressed by the election aftermath. Not me. I’m virtually euphoric. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not thrilled with America’s flirtation with neo socialism. But there’s a massive silver lining in those magical clouds that lofted Barak Obama to the Presidency. For today, without a shred of intellectually legitimate opposition, I can loudly proclaim to America: The Era of White Guilt is over.

This seemingly impossible event occurred because the vast majority of white Americans didn’t give a fluff about skin color, and enthusiastically pulled the voting lever for a black man. Not just any black man. A very liberal black man who spent his early career race-hustling banks, praying in a racist church for 20 years, and actively worked with America-hating domestic terrorists. Wow! Some resume! Yet they made Barak Obama their leader. Therefore, as of Nov 4th, 2008, white guilt is dead.

For over a century, the millstone of white guilt hung around our necks, retribution for slave-owning predecessors. In the 60s, American liberals began yanking that millstone while sticking a fork in the eye of black Americans, exacerbating the racial divide to extort a socialist solution. But if a black man can become President, exactly what significant barrier is left? The election of Barak Obama absolutely destroys the entire validation of liberal white guilt. The dragon is hereby slain.

So today, I’m feeling a little “uppity,” if you will. From this day forward, my tolerance level for having my skin color hustled is now exactly ZERO. And it’s time to clean house. No more Reverend Wright’s “God Damn America,” Al Sharpton’s Church of Perpetual Victimization, or Jesse Jackson’s rainbow racism. Cornell West? You’re a fraud. Go home. All those “black studies” programs that taught kids to hate whitey? You must now thank Whitey. And I want that on the final.

Congressional Black Caucus? Irrelevant. Maxine Waters? Shut up. ACORN? Outlawed. Black Panthers? Go home and pet your kitty. Black separatists? Find another nation that offers better dreams. Go ahead. I’m waiting.

Gangsta rappers? Start praising America. Begin with the Pledge of Allegiance. And please…no more ebonics. Speak English, and who knows where you might end up? Oh, yeah…pull up your pants. Your underwear is showing. You look stupid.

To those Eurosnots who forged entire careers hating America, I’m still waiting for the first black French President.

And let me offer an equal opportunity whupping. I’ve always despised lazy white people. Now, I can talk smack about lazy black people. You’re poor because you quit school, did drugs, had three kids with three different fathers, and refuse to work. So when you plop your Colt 45-swilling, Oprah watchin’ butt on the couch and complain “Da Man is keeping’ me down,” allow me to inform you: "Da Man" is now black. You have no excuses.

No more quotas. No more handouts. No more stealing my money because someone’s great-great-great-great grandparents suffered actual pain and misery at the hands of people I have no relation to, and personally revile.

It’s time to toss that massive, obsolete race-hustle machine upon the heap of the other stupid 60s ideas. Drag it over there, by wife swapping, next to dope-smoking. Plenty of room right between free love and cop-killing. Careful…don’t trip on streaking. There ya go, don’t be gentle. Just dump it. Wash your hands. It’s filthy.

In fact, Obama’s ascension created a gargantuan irony. How can you sell class envy and American unfairness when you and your black wife went to Ivy League schools, got high-paying jobs, became millionaires, bought a mansion, and got elected President? How unfair is that??? Now, like a delicious O'Henry tale, Obama’s spread-the-wealth campaign rendered itself moot by its own victory! America is officially a meritocracy. Obama’s election has validated American conservatism!

So, listen carefully…Wham!!!

That’s the sound of my foot kicking the door shut on the era of white guilt. The rites have been muttered, the carcass lowered, dirt shoveled, and tombstone erected. White guilt is dead and buried.

However, despite my glee, there’s apparently one small, rabid bastion of American racism remaining. Black Americans voted 96% for Barak Obama. Hmmm. In a color-blind world, shouldn’t that be 50-50? Tonight, every black person should ask forgiveness for their apparent racism and prejudice towards white people. Maybe it’s time to start spreading the guilt around (along with the wealth …)

JayWarner said...

Let's get a few things straight before we sound off for or against KRM, OK?

KRM is a commuter rail system, connecting Milwaukee with Cudahy, Oak Creek and Racine with Kenosha, North East Ill. and Chicago. It will get you from Racine to Milwaukee in about the same time as a car outside rush hour (faster than a car during rush hour), for less than the cost of gasoline at $4.00/gal. It will get you to Chicago faster than a car, without the hassles of the traffic, and for much less than the cost of gasoline.

Last time I worked in Milwaukee, I had to pay income tax on the value of my parking space, if I didn't pay for the whole thing myself. Speaking of taxes, don't forget that one.

1) Who will benefit most from KRM? The people who live nearest the train stations. They are the people who use it more than anyone else, according to the planners. Plus the Racine buses are all ready to run routes to the station.

2) The day that the start date of the KRM is announced, the value of land and buildings within 1/4 mile of the stations will double (historical information from other train installations), and it will go up from there. At an early interest meeting, the owner of the bar on State Street just west of the train station came to see what was up. He knew what KRM will mean to him and his business.

Now, you can take this to mean that the folks in that neighborhood will get had, again, as outside real estate developers come in and make a killing. Or you can take this to mean that the people who live and own homes there will figure out what's best for them and be part of it. If the KRM doesn't come, and the land value does not go up, will the people there be better off?

3) this week the price of gasoline is down under $2.00/gallon. Do you think it will stay there? We all know it will go back up as soon as we start buying it again. We're not buying it now because we got laid off, or we're afraid we will.

The only way gasoline will stay at a low price is for people not to buy it. If the economy stays down, you know who is going to get hit the most, and longest - the folks on the bottom. I don't think that is a good way to keep gasoline prices down. A much better way is to learn how to live without it - use a train to get around without gasoline.

4) Do you have family you would like to visit in Chicago? How about taking the KRM from the station on State Street -- I find Chicago is a much nicer place when I can get to it by train, then use the bus to get around.

5) Would you like to be able to work in Milwaukee, or Waukegan, or Chicago, without paying the gasoline company and the parking lot owner as much as the job is worth? Then KRM it is. It's hard enough finding a job in Racine right now; KRM would let you apply in those other cities, too.

Again, you can say 'so what - ain't no job for me out there.' Or you can say, 'Here's my chance to look around.' If KRM doesn't come, jobs in those other cities won't matter - they will be out of reach.

6) Let's look a minute at how much this sales tax increase might be. We're talking up to 0.5% if you look at what Milwaukee has to do to keep their bus system afloat. If you buy a toy for the kid at $10.00, the sales tax would be 60 cents - of which only 5 cents, AT MOST, goes for transit - both bus and KRM. If you buy $10 of groceries - food - the sales tax is zip - zero. When you get your hair done, the sales tax is 0 -- nothing. If you buy a couple beers in your favorite bar, the sales tax is zip again. If you buy a good shirt, brand new, the price will be well over $10 (at least it was for me last week, and on sale, too) and the sales tax is what? Zip in Wisconsin.

Yes, a sales tax is 'regressive' -- it takes it out of lower income people. In Wisconsin food and clothing pays no sales tax, to help make up for that.

Plus, some 23% of the sales tax collected in Racine City comes from people who come from elsewhere to buy stuff.

If you don't like the idea of a sales tax for KRM, you can keep on paying for the gasoline to travel up and down the Lake Shore. The gasoline transportation tax is more than the sales tax, and the gasoline is more than the train fare, but if you don't see the gasoline tax it's OK, right? And you'd better buy a lot of gasoline, because we need that gasoline tax money to pay for rebuilding I-94.

Finally, The last time development near the train station came up in public, some people wanted to make absolutely sure that neighborhood people got their share of jobs. That should be the case for every construction project in Racine - more than their share, even. Of course, if KRM does not come to Racine, it won't matter -- those jobs won't happen, and nobody will get them.

So yes, KRM will benefit everyone in Racine.

Especially people who live near downtown and the train station.

Especially people who would like to work outside Racine and live here.

Especially people who want to work on building projects in Racine.

Especially people who want to work in the businesses that will serve the train riders.

Especially people who want to travel to Milwaukee and Chicago without spending an arm and leg for the gasoline.

Especially people who want to get around, and know that the cost of gasoline is more than the train fare and the sales tax together.

Racine needs KRM. We all need KRM. We need it now.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jay is back! I remember him posting on the Journal Times blogs about the train some time ago. He wrote in under another name to support the train, then wrote in again - under another name - to agree with the prior post. How did we know this? The blog system used to show the ISP address if you moved your mouse over the name in any post. Wow did we have a field day with that one!

This is the kind of support this project has - fake numbers and overestimates of the number of supporters.

Anonymous said...

Hey that last poster is correct - I totally agree with him/her!!!