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A Madison city committee Monday rejected a wheel tax proposal slated to help fund the city's Metro Transit System but could be used for other non-transportation issues within the city, according to Ald. Mike Verveer.

The city’s Finance Committee voted unanimously late Monday to reject a proposed $17 vehicle registration fee introduced to the City Council by Mayor Paul Soglin earlier this year.

It was the third city committee to reject the proposal, which Soglin had attempted to sell as a way to raise $3.3 million to improve city roads.

But it actually is set up to supplant property tax money used to fund the city’s Metro Transit system so that the property tax money could be used for other purposes, said Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District.

State law allows a wheel tax only to be used for transportation services, he said.

Soglin did not argue in favor of the local registration fee, Verveer said. “The issues (prior to the vote) were surprisingly very limited ,” he said.

Prior to the Finance Committee’s 4-0 vote (two committee members were absent), the council’s Executive Committee and Equal Opportunity Commission also rejected the proposal. The Public Safety Review Board made no recommendation because it wasn’t sure if it had jurisdiction, Verveer said.

The City Council will vote on the proposal at its Sept. 4 meeting.

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Rob Schultz has won multiple writing awards at the state and national levels and covers an array of topics for the Wisconsin State Journal in south-central and southwestern Wisconsin.