Every autumn for the last 81 years, county officials from around the state have gathered at the Wisconsin Counties Association’s (WCA) Annual Conference...(read more)
Wisconsin Transportation and Finance Policy Commission Release Final Report
- Posted on January 23, 2013
$479.5 Million in Additional Transportation Investment Annually Proposed
On Wednesday, January 23, 2013, the Wisconsin Transportation Finance and Policy Commission released their final work after nearly two years of meeting.
Read the Wisconsin Transportation Finance and Policy Commission's final report, "Keep Wisconsin Moving - Smart Investments, Measurable Results," here.
Created by the state legislature in the 2011-13 state budget, the Wisconsin Transportation Finance and Policy Commission was charged with reviewing the state's transportation finance structure and identifying ways to balance transportation revenues, expenditures, and debt. The eleven-member commission was also charged with exploring new revenue options for the state.
The Commission's report proposes $479.5 million in additional transportation investment annually over the next ten years. More specifically, the report calls for the following annual increases for a ten-year period:
* $179 million for state highway rehabilitation
* $100 million for state highway modernization
* $75.1 million for southeast freeways
* $33 million for state highway maintenance
* $40 million for local highway and bridges
* $2 million for airports
* $1.5 million for railroads
* $2.6 million for harbors
* $10 million for bicycle and pedestrian facilities
* $36.3 million for transit
The Commission is suggesting that Wisconsin needs to generate an additional $6.8 billion over ten years to account not only for new investments, but also for the continued decline in the current revenue being used to fund transportation. The commission is recommending the following five-revenue enhancements to ensure that Wisconsin's transportation system is back on course to support the state's economy over the next ten years:
* Raising the state gas tax by five cents per gallon
* Adopting a new mileage based registration fee for passenger cars and light trucks
* Increasing annual registration fees for commercial vehicles by 73%
* Increasing the fee for an eight-year driver license by $20
* Eliminating the sales tax exemption for the trade-in value of a vehicle
The Commission has also recommended various other changes related to how transportation is paid for in Wisconsin:
* Enacting legislation allowing for regional or local transportation initiatives supported by county of local sales taxes
* Supporting the state constitutional amendment to end transfers from Wisconsin's segregated transportation fund
* Increasing transportation borrowing/bonding, but keeping debt service payments at manageable levels
* Indexing the state gas tax and registration fees for inflation
* Encouraging federal legislation that allows states more flexibility to toll on the National Highway System
Read a media release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on the Commission's work here.
For questions, do not hesitate to contact WCA Legislative Director Jon Hochkammer at 866.404.2700.