Transportation infrastructure would benefit from a return to gas tax indexing, according to an industry group. Craig Thompson with Wisconsin’s Transportation Development Association says there were several factors behind the decision to end indexing three years ago.
“I think those things converged – along with politics – and it was somewhat of a perfect storm that led repealing indexing, which we had for over twenty years,” says Thompson. “There was an erosion, I think, of the public trust that all of the dollars that we were raising from the gas tax was in fact going back into our transportation system.”
There’s a problem though, with not having the income generated by indexing, and Thompson says we’ve been here before. “During the 1970s we’d really let our infrastructure crumble, and during the 1980s . . . there had to be several different votes to raise the gas tax eleven cents.”
Governor Jim Doyle is expected to call for a return to gas tax indexing in his state budget. “We’d be very pleased to see the governor do that,” says Thompson. “I think his statements recently that it’s unsustainable with indexing are right on the mark. He’s showing great leadership in looking at what those needs are, and this being an incremental way to address those needs in a way that won’t cost the public too much all at
Governor Jim Doyle is expected to call for a return to indexing the state gasoline tax to the rate of inflation in his state budget.