Monday, July 25, 2016

Remember when we mindlessly protected the Transportation Fund from being Raided?

Thank god we constitutionally protected the state’s transportation fund from being raided and used somewhere else in the budget!!! What an amazingly irrelevant exercise, and remember, that was a big Republican accomplishment.

I only found out about the story below from a Rep. Robin Vos tweet…that’s right, not from a
Democratic legislator’s tweet. Similarly, I was surprised to find out that interstate construction between Madison and Janesville had been delayed a whole two years thanks to Scott Walker. That just changed when new federal funding was provided.

Scott Walker said he would not support any gas tax increase or hike in registration fees.

History Repeating Itself: Are we about see a Republican led veto override? This is the same nifty trick Walker pulled off as county executive, holding true to his promise not raise taxes, but letting the county board override his veto. He was happy keeping his Grover Norquist pledge, and the county was happy to serve the people and not let everything go to hell.

With a recent American Society of Civil Engineers study ranking Wisconsin 48th among the states in terms of road condition … groups representing the state’s towns, villages, cities, counties and the business community are pressing Gov. Scott Walker and state legislators to provide more state transportation funding for maintenance and improvement of county and municipal roads and bridges.

Basically, an increased emphasis on bonding (borrowing) for road projects means the cost of interest is leaving less for both state and local road projects. Remarkably, the percentage of the state transportation budget going to debt service more than tripled in that same span. In 2000, debt service accounted for 4.4 percent. By 2010 that had risen to 7.2 percent and by 2013 it had nearly doubled again to 13.8 percent.

Looking at combined gas taxes and registration fees, Wisconsin is well below neighboring states ... Gas taxes and registration fees cost the average Wisconsin driver $23 per month, the statement said, while it’s $42 in Minnesota, $41 in Iowa and $34 in Michigan. Walker had proposed borrowing $1.3 billion over two years for road spending, but the Legislature pared that back to $850 million.

Walker’s column also made plain; “During the 2014 campaign, I made it clear I would not support a gas tax increase or a vehicle registration increase without a corresponding decrease in other state taxes I will not raise the overall tax burden on the hardworking people of Wisconsin.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, recently told Wisconsin Public Television “I just disagree fundamentally with Gov. Walker’s assumption that we can kick the can down the road, push decisions onto a future legislature, which will end up being more expensive and potentially not in the interest of taxpayers.” 


greg miller said...

Making someone else do the hard work is typical for Walker. He wants to keep his image as the fighter for lower taxes even if the world is crumbling around him. He will make someone else raise the taxes necessary to actually make things work.

He still wants to be president of the united states. He won't let a few million pot-holes in wisconsin stand in his way.

Jonathan Swift said...

Anyone who signed a Grover Norquist pledge is not a ventriloquist but a dummy, not elected to lead but to follow.

If we had politicians with courage and integrity (pipe dream, I'd settle for 1 of the 2) a variable gas tax could have been created and a bipartisan commission of equal members of each party p[us one independent or a mutually agreed upon member of either party to recommend adjustments on a monthly or 6 week basis.

We were accustomed to paying $4.00/gal as prices fell minor increases in the tax would have been acceptable and could have been reversed as prices rose. The revenue generated to be ear marked specifically for repair of existing roads and infrastructure with a moratorium on new construction and projects .

Anonymous said...

As others point out, Walker doesn't care about policy or results, he cares about striking poses for the out-of-state oligarchs and rubes that get their "facts" from talk radio.

I've never understood why we couldn't have a higher state gas tax from May 1 through September 30, then a lower one for the other 7 months. This would throw more of the burden on all the FIBS and other tourists, while not hitting state residents as hard. Would also raise more money in the process.

But don't expect Scotty to think that deeply or responsibly.

Jake formerly of the LP