Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

State Budget Watch: Doyle vetoes Milwaukee County sales tax increase

State budget

On November 4, 2008, voters in Milwaukee County were asked to decide on this advisory referendum question:

Shall the State of Wisconsin grant Milwaukee County the authority to provide property tax relief of at least sixty-seven million dollars ($67 million) by levying a one percent (1%) county sales and use tax to be used to remove the following three items from the property tax levy: parks recreation culture, transit and emergency medical services (EMS)?

Voters in communities that I represent in Senate District 28 voted no. Here are the numbers:


YES: 3066

NO: 4975

Hales Corners

YES: 1599

NO: 2528


YES: 6534

NO: 10,559


YES: 7332

NO: 10,343

The state Legislature, controlled by Democrats, sent a budget to Governor Doyle that included a provision to allow the Milwaukee County Board to raise the county sales tax by 0.65% - 0.5% for buses and 0.15% for public safety. The increases would have raised the county sales tax to 6.25%.

Monday, Governor Doyle vetoed the increases.

In his veto message, Doyle wrote about proposals for a Milwaukee Transit Authority and a Southeastern Regional Transit Authority, “I believe they would move us in the wrong direction. We must commit from the very beginning to a vision of real regional transit. New revenues must be focused on regional transit, not immediate local transit funding needs. Transit planning and operations must reach across county boundaries in southeastern Wisconsin. My vetoes remove the Milwaukee Transit Authority but retain the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority and the $18 vehicle rental fee.”

When the governor says "new revenues," he means tax increases. When he says “a vision of real regional transit,’” he means light rail and commuter rail. Both would be extremely costly and both are unnecessary.

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