The governor says he’s been pretty clear about his promise not to raise taxes or fees to help fund transportation in the state, and he plans to stand by it next spring.
The issue is likely to be at the heart of the debate over reforming road funding in the next state budget. Assembly Republicans argue it should be an option, while Senate Republicans remain divided on the issue – although many side with the governor.
Walker made a promise on the campaign trail not raise gas taxes or vehicle registration fees, unless they are equally decreased in another area. “That’s a promise I clearly made to the voters – it wasn’t hidden out there,” Walker said while speaking to members of the press this week, while also reaffirming his threat to veto any budget that includes an increase.
Walker said some lawmakers seem ready to pursue the issue, even though many didn’t campaign on doing so. “I don’t recall seeing in this election anyone announcing the size of the gas tax increase they were willing to vote for. They kind of hinted about it, but nobody said ‘vote for me, I’m going to raise your gas taxes.'”
The governor also seemed to dismiss talk from some GOP lawmakers about the potential of using a repeal of the state’s minimum markup law to meet the condition of offsetting a gas tax hike. While Walker indicated his promise is not about making a trade-off to help find new revenue for roads, he called it “an interesting idea.”