Well, apparently bowing to pressure from Governor Walker, the latest budget proposal coming out of the state legislature proposes raising the gas tax but lowering income taxes. So essentially funding infrastructure while stealing from education, safety and public welfare programs that the state runs. I have written about this at length previously and will probably address it again as the proposal develops. But this is sleight of hand:

Wisconsin would hike taxes on gasoline and slash income taxes and borrowing for roads, under a proposal being discussed privately by top Assembly Republicans.

The sweeping plan by Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) is expected to be presented to rank-and-file GOP lawmakers in the Assembly as soon as Thursday and then to the public.

This is just the preliminary proposal but since the GOP controls both houses and the governor’s mansion, I don’t imagine much will change unless the governor has more push back:

Applying the state’s 5% sales tax to gasoline, which could bring in up to 10 cents per gallon at current gasoline prices in the Milwaukee area. Unlike the current flat gas tax, the sales tax on gasoline could rise — or fall — as fuel prices go up and down.
Eliminating 4 to 5 cents of the state’s 32.9-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax, which would soften the overall tax increase on drivers.
Making significant cuts to income taxes as part of a plan to move to a 4% flat tax over many years. “The long-term goal is to say we have a flat tax,” Vos acknowledged.
Cutting roughly $300 million of the $500 million in borrowing for roads contained in Walker’s two-year budget bill. That means that over the next two years much of the new money being raised would go for debt reduction rather than for additional road projects — a potential sticking point for road builders who have been seeking more money for highways.
Reducing the state-mandated markup on gasoline prices from its current level of 9.18% over the average wholesale price to something lower, such as 3%. That could help shield drivers from cost increases from the new taxes, but this provision will be controversial and likely draw opposition from some Wisconsin retailers such as convenience store chain Kwik Trip.
Repealing the state’s minimum wage standards — known as the prevailing wage — for workers on public works projects such as road and bridge construction.
Cutting about 180 Department of Transportation engineers who were added to the department’s payroll in 2013. Their work would likely be picked up by private-sector engineers.
Applying to the federal government for permission to place tolls on certain state highways.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.