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Road Spending

Wisconsin is spending more on transportation than it has ever before.  In the 52nd District we are keenly aware of the problems that can occur when the state does not invest wisely in its road infrastructure.  The long history of the subpar 151 bypass and the legal delays of the Hwy 23 east project have tested the patience of voters.  The WI Dept. of Transportation, under new leadership, says that current revenue amounts are sufficient, and is engaging in extensive reform to ensure that the taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.  

Due to a state constitutional amendment approved by the legislature and voters a few years back, WI transportation revenues must remain for transportation purposes only.  The days of transferring money away from the transportation fund have ended.  Due to increasing numbers of high efficiency vehicles and electric vehicles, the gasoline tax is not as stable or sufficient a source for needed road improvements.  Regardless of whether current revenue is sufficient or not, the future of the revenue source for the transportation fund must be addressed.

I believe we need to develop sources of revenue that are reliable and fair to all parties that benefit from our state transportation network.  Examining the viability of a mileage-based fee with minimum and maximum amounts/vehicle may be part of the solution.  The gasoline tax remains part of the solution due to its application to all drivers, including out-of-state drivers.  I also believe that a small portion of general purpose revenue should be applied to transportation, since even those who do not drive benefit from the state's transportation network.


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