A coalition of a twelve business groups continues to push for an increase in Wisconsin's gas tax, as an alternative to the tax on big oil, according to the Wisconsin Highway Users Group. Chairman Tom Howells it's a better option than a franchise fee on oil companies which could face legal challenges from the industry.
Howells says "administrative mechanisms" for the gas tax are already in place as opposed to a new fee. Howells admits his associates had to think long and hard about their proposed $.03 increase to a tax which is already one of the highest in the country. However he says the DOT needs the money to improve and maintain the state's highway system.
The tax on big oil profits has been proposed by Governor Doyle and approved by the legislature's Finance Committee. That plan could fall by the wayside though as some lawmakers have expressed concern over the fee.
UPDATE: Assembly Democrats voted to allow oil companies to hike gas up to $.04 a gallon to motorists to pay for an added tax. The full Assembly is expected to vote on the budget Thursday.