Assembly Republicans are reportedly putting the finishing touches on their plan to fund transportation in the state, potentially dealing with what’s expected to be a point of contention in upcoming state budget talks.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a draft of the plan calls for applying the state’s five-percent sales tax to gasoline sales, while reducing gas and income taxes. The move would allow gas taxes to fluctuate with the price of gas, rather than the current flat tax that’s applied to fuel.
While he’s been briefed on versions of the plan, Governor Scott Walker said during a stop in Sun Prairie that he was not yet in a position to say whether he supports the idea. “I haven’t seen a written copy of that yet,” Walker said, noting that the plan has been changing between briefings. “I want to see it in its totality.”
Walker noted that’s he’s been consistent in his stance that the state should not need to raise gas taxes or vehicle registration fees to pay for roads, even though Wisconsin could face a billion dollar shortfall in its transportation fund. His budget called for state borrowing and delaying or scaling back road projects to help address the deficit – a move lawmakers appear to be steering away from. “We’ll see what’s ultimately in their proposal,” Walker said.
Assembly GOP leaders have indicated their proposal could be released soon.