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Home / Government / Report to recommend gas tax, other fee increases to pay for infrastructure (UPDATE)

Report to recommend gas tax, other fee increases to pay for infrastructure (UPDATE)

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — A report to Wisconsin state lawmakers will recommend increasing the gas tax and raising vehicle registration and driver’s license fees, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The Transportation Finance and Policy Commission report that will be delivered next week will include those and other options for lawmakers to consider as they look to close the state’s $2 billion transportation funding gap, the Oshkosh Northwestern reported. The changes would cost the average driver who travels 12,000 miles-per-year and gets about 20 miles-per-gallon about $120 more per year.

Gov. Scott Walker has said improving the state’s infrastructure is one of his priorities, but he is opposed to raising the gas tax. Walker has also come out against toll roads or limited toll lanes to raise money. He will outline his plan in his state budget to be released next month.

The report from the Transportation Finance and Policy Commission will recommend a 5-cent increase in the gas tax and tying registration fees to miles traveled. The recommendations would generate about $479 million a year to pay for road, bridge, airport and other transportation-related projects.

Commission member Craig Thompson told the newspaper that the $4.8 billion generated over 10 years would help close the projected $2 billion money gap over the same period and ensure Wisconsin does not fall any further behind.

“We wanted to assess where we were, whether we needed (additional money) and if we could find more efficient ways to fund it,” said Thompson, executive director of the Transportation Development Association.

Recommendations in the report will include:

— Adopting a new mileage-based vehicle registration fee of 1.02 cents-per-mile up to 20,000 miles for cars and light trucks. The first 3,000 miles would be free, meaning the fee would top out at $204, compared to the $75 flat fee now.

— Increase annual registration fees for commercial vehicles in proportion to passenger vehicle increases.

— Increase the state motor fuel tax by 5 cents per gallon, the first increase since 2006.

— Raise the fee to renew a driver’s license by $20 to $54.

— Eliminate the sales tax exemption on the trade-in value of vehicles.

Information from: Oshkosh Northwestern, http://www.thenorthwestern.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

3 comments

  1. What is the net social return on investment for highway capitol that would be raised by increasing fees and taxes? Republicans like to say that tax money is often better left in the pockets of the taxpayers – so we need to make sure this exception to the rule is really justified.

    By the way, at the national level, the net ROI of highway investment looks like it has dropped below the return of leaving the money in the private sector:

    http://bit.ly/sUdsD4

  2. This is nutz….I thought that Governor Doyle and his cronies were out of office !!!

    At least 50% of the transportation funds expended in the Beloit area, are wasted right now. Extending roads and building new bridges, which are duplications of existing roads and/or infrastructure. Repaving and/or widening roads that don’t need it, yet ignoring potholes in secondary streets.

    These new taxes are not going to bring new people or businesses to Wisconsin, they are just going to give us another expensive reason to leave the state.

    I repeat… this is NUTZ.

  3. Wisconsin has the roughest roads I’ve ever seen- some of the city streets look like war zones. I just hit a potholes in the center lane of I-94 southbound near Kenosha last night which caused my left front wheel to be damaged. It’s a wonder I didn’t get a flat tire. Once you hit the state line the Tri-State Tollway in Illinois is terrific. The gas tax has not been raised in ages (it does not increase when the price of gas increases- it’s a fixed amount per gallon), and it’s ridiculous that major highways get resurfaced once every 20+ years when it should be once every 10 years with Wisconsin’s terrible climate.

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