By Carolyn Kramer, manager, Transportation Investment Advocacy Center
With five major state road projects delayed due to insufficient funds, Wisconsin lawmakers are scrambling to find revenue to fill the transportation funding gap.
Gov. Scott Walker (R) responded Oct. 6 by issuing a request for $350 million in bonds to pay for the delayed projects. According to the state budget, the first half of the bonds would be repaid from general fund tax revenue, the second half would come from transportation-related taxes.
State Rep. Robb Kahl (D) said he will introduce a bill to index the state’s motor fuel tax rate in order to restore reliable, long-term transportation funding. Wisconsin had previously indexed the state’s gas tax from 1985 to 2006, when it was repealed by the legislature. In a statement, Kahl said his bill would grant the Joint Finance Committee the ability to approve or prevent an increase.