It's not often state legislators are asked to increase our taxes, but the trucking industry and other businesses are asking state legislators to increase the gas tax. Tom Howells of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association says, it's not an easy thing to do. "Nobody likes to be proposing tax increases at a time when many of our members are struggling," says Howells.
But Howells says a three-cent a gallon increase in the gas tax to meet DOT funding needs is preferable to Governor Doyle's proposed franchise fee on oil companies. "A group of us have suggested that a better way to rease the way to raise the money, if they need that money for transportation," says Howells. "Believe me, we all had to swallow pretty hard to come up with a tax increase in this economy." Wisconsin's gas tax right now is just under 31 cents a gallon, second highest in the nation.
Howells cites several reasons for the gas tax proposal. "We need and want good roads and bridges," he says. "Second of all, we need a predictable and consistent fuel supply, and we want the taxation to be something we understand as equitable and efficient."