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Thursday - September 7, 2017 10:04 am

Road funding plan predictably disappointing

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We waited all summer for this? That is our reaction to the news that the Wisconsin Legislature's finance committee has finally come up with a way to pay for road work in the state. Predictably, and sadly, the funding package fails to provide a sustainable, fair, and long-term funding solution to roads in Wisconsin. Instead, the funding package relies on more borrowing, leaving our children to figure out how to pay for road work in the state. The deal includes $400 million in new borrowing, putting the funding for our roads on a credit card. Already, debt service has become an increasingly large amount of the costs of roads, and more borrowing only makes that worse. The deal also calls for adopting new fees for those who drive hybrid and electric cars, who, because their vehicles are more fuel efficient, buy less gas and therefore pay less gas tax. Those driving electric cars would pay a $100 fee, while owners of hybrids would pay $75. It seems we are punishing them for going green. Lawmakers could have increased the gas tax, or vehicle registration fees, or simply found the money elsewhere in the budget to pay for roads. Instead the best they could do is to borrow more money and pay more interest. It took many months to come up with this plan, which still needs approval of the full Assembly and Senate, and the signature of Governor Walker. It seems this deal was hardly one worth waiting for.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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