Wisconsin legislators from both political parties have indicated support for a bill that would allow voters in each of the state’s 72 counties to decide on whether or not to increase local sales taxes to repair and maintain local roads. The Assembly Transportation Committee recently voted 14-0 to let counties add a one-half percent sales tax for road repairs, with approval from the voters every four years. The Wisconsin State Journal reports there is little support for the measure in the state Senate.
State gasoline tax revenues have been declining as lawmakers grapple with how to ensure a stable long-term funding source for transportation. Representative Dean Knudson has said that his bill (AB 210) would provide a boost to counties where voters support more road funding.
But there’s been almost no interest for the measure in the Senate, where only Senator Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) has signed on to the bill. Knudson told the State Journal that lawmakers would not be voting for a tax hike, because county residents could choose to generate more local road money if they want it.