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As I See It

Gas tax hike the best idea for raising road money

Scott Robert Shaw



When our elected officials in Madison consider adopting a sustainable, long-term solution for funding Wisconsin’s roads, the answer always seems to be no. That is despite the fact that our state’s roads continue to deteriorate and are considered among the worst in the nation. Even when Republican Governor Scott Walker was in office, and with the legislature in republican control, they still couldn’t agree on how to pay for the much-needed road work. Now, Governor Tony Evers has introduced a plan to raise more than $600 million over the next two years by raising the state’s gas tax by 8 cents a gallon. And once again, Wisconsin republicans are throwing cold water on that idea. A committee voted along party lines to reject the gas tax increase. They haven’t put forward a competing plan, but signaled they may be willing to raise the vehicle registration fees. A gas tax is more equitable, because the tax is highest for those who use the roads the most. And it also levies the tax on out of state drivers. A gas tax would cost the average Wisconsin driver an extra $40 a year. A hike in the registration fee would have to be at least $60 to raise the same amount. No one likes paying higher taxes, or fees, but our roads need repair. Let’s make sure we adopt the most equitable plan for Wisconsinites and finally end this long debate.

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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    Tom Ryan

    June 10, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Once we fire a few more politicians like ,Vos and Fitzgerald, we can move Wisconsin forward. It’s sad but we’ll have to put up with one more winter of road deterioration before anything will be done. You’re right, vehicle registration increases only effect Wisconsin taxpayers. Let those who drive pay their fair share!

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