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As I See It

At least someone has a plan to pay to fix our roads



Wisconsin lawmakers continue to struggle to come up with a way to fix our roads. They resorted to borrowing $500 million as part of the current budget, but that isn’t even enough to pay for the roadwork already planned, much less future needs. As a result, literally hundreds of road projects on the books throughout the state are being delayed two years or more. That will only make the problem worse. One Madison lawmaker has a plan, while perhaps not popular, at least makes more sense than putting the state’s road work on a credit card for our children and grandchildren to pay off. Rep. Robb Kahl is proposing restoring the state’s gas tax index, which lawmakers voted to end nine years ago. With indexing, the gas tax automatically went up slightly every year. No one wants to pay more taxes, and there are other ideas that could help, like raising vehicle registration fees, or even toll roads. But at least this lawmaker is coming up with a plan, rather than sticking his head in the sand like the rest of the politicians. And he points out, that Wisconsin has the lowest cost among Midwest states for people to own and operate a car, when considering gas taxes, tolls, vehicle registration fees and taxes. As unpopular as this plan may be, it would at least allow the state to pay to fix our crumbling roads.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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