Dueling proposals to fix roads, both impact your wallet

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MADISON (WKOW) — Finding revenue to fix roads is a top priority for Democrats and Republicans, but Transportation Secretary-Designee Craig Thompson thinks the GOP proposal isn’t fair.

“It only charges people from Wisconsin, it doesn’t capture people from out of state like you would with the gas tax.”

Democrats and Thompson back Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal to raise the gas tax by 8 cents a gallon, which targets all travelers filling up at the pump. But Republicans don’t want to raise taxes and feel the gas tax is already too high.

“I think the gas tax is out of negotiations, we made the decision to go a different direction,” said Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton).

Thompson and Loudenbeck made their comments Friday during taping for this week’s Capital City Sunday, which airs on WKOW at 9 a.m.

The Republicans unveiled their plan before the Joint Finance Committee Thursday which would spend an additional $483.7 million. It would raise title fees from $95 to $164 and increase the vehicle registration fee to $85.

Both proposals would affect your wallet.

Registering your vehicle would cost you $10 more every year. A gas tax would generate more money for Wisconsin to fix roads, but it’ll also cost you more. About $54 dollars every year according to the Construction Business Group. Their analysis examined a 10 cent raise, costing the average driver about $54 a year or $4.50 a month.*

Loudenbeck, who sits on the budget writing committee, agrees the registration fee increase is not a long-term fix but is hopeful it can start making significant changes.

“I’m not going to argue it’s forever, but more than a two-year solution,” said Loudenbeck. “This isn’t just, let’s bond and kick the can down the road — this is going to pay for a very robust infrastructure projects.”

Thompson said Republicans proposal is a positive step and said the Governor is still reviewing Republicans proposal. Lawmakers have until the end of the month to send him a budget.

“I don’t think it’s as sustainable as the governor’s plan, but it’s something I think we need to look at, and it is some new, ongoing revenue.”

 

*Figures for gas tax we’re based the average driver: 12,000 miles/year. 545 gallons/year* source: Construction Business Group.

Emilee Fannon

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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