I’ve been working on this one in the back of my head for a while but after writing about the arcane thinking in Madison about private school tax credits, I am going for it now. And this will be brief cause I am not bringing in links or quotes or working from the script in my head. I am just going to spit this out.

Money in Wisconsin for transportation is in short supply and our highway, road and street infrastructure is failing at an alarming rate. Yet our governor refuses to accept that concept of raising gasoline taxes and instead is open to continued borrowing to fund highway repair. Talk about kicking the can down the road or saddling our children with government debt…this is the classic example.

But then there is his persistence that he won’t accept any form of a gas tax increase or increase in vehicle registration unless there is a similar reduction in other taxes. In other words if Wisconsin raises the gas tax and balances it with say income tax reductions…the state is generally paying for transportation from funds needed for public education…protection of natural resources…our state parks…the University of Wisconsin…etc. And in that situation we are not only shorting the state’s other responsibilities, but the recipients of the largesse aren’t necessarily the same tax payers footing the bill.

Maybe the first thing we need to do is stop calling it a gas tax and rename it a highway user fee. Which is essentially what it truly is. And the more you use the highways and byways, the more user fees you will be paying.

And using general funds for transportation also obscures how much money is actually being spent on transportation. Not something that should be encouraged.

Enough rant!

For those interested, here is someone who supports adding tolls to WI interstate mileage. Not my idea of a good idea!

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