As I See It
Tax windfall should pay for roads
Now is the time to fix our roads. And it couldn’t be easier to do. Wisconsin lawmakers have put off for years an agreement on how to pay for roads. As a result, Wisconsin’s roads are now some of the worst in the nation. The roads we have built have been paid for with a credit card. But most road projects are simply being put off as lawmakers argue over how to pay for them. Well, it seems Christmas came early. The state budget office says Wisconsin will have about $450 million more than expected through 2019. That money could be used to finally get our roads fixed. But the politicians seem to prefer a shell game, unveiling a plan to spend more on roads, in exchange for some type of offsetting tax cut. That’s because Governor Walker has said he will not support a higher gas tax, or vehicle registration fees, without a corresponding tax reduction. This plan does exactly what the Governor wants. So, lawmakers should unwrap this early Christmas present, and get a deal done. That would be progress. But such a plan still fails to do much more than patch the pothole that is Wisconsin’s transportation budget deficit.