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As I See It

Road funding plan unnecessarily complicated



It doesn’t need to be so convoluted. Republican lawmakers in Madison have unveiled a plan to pay for needed transportation improvements in Wisconsin. Their plan would essentially cut the state’s gas tax, while at the same time raising taxes on gasoline. A little hard to follow isn’t it? The plan floated last week would cut Wisconsin’s gas tax by nearly five cents per gallon, but would make gasoline purchases subject to state and county sales taxes. Under that plan, we would be paying more, not less when we fill up our cars. About 12 cents a gallon more. But their plan doesn’t stop there. And this is where it gets really confusing. They would also tighten the income tax brackets, charge hybrid drivers a new fee, and eliminate tax credits for working families, renters and married couples. And yet they hope to somehow sell this to the public as a tax cut. Hardly. To be fair, these lawmakers deserve credit for at least coming up with a plan to raise money to fix the state roads, now ranked among the worst in the nation. So far, Governor Walker’s only idea has been to put off road work, and borrow money to pay for some road projects, leaving future generations to figure out how to pay for it. That plan so far has gotten us nothing other than more potholes, and deeper in debt. Coming up with a fair, sustainable way to pay for better roads really shouldn’t be this difficult.

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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