Doyle supports return of cash cow for highway construction

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From an article by Jason Stein and Mark Pitsch in the Wisconsin State Journal:

The state should consider returning to automatic increases in its gas tax, Gov. Jim Doyle said Tuesday.

A return to the so-called "indexing" of the tax would represent a reversal for the Democratic governor. In the face of a widespread concern over rising gas prices in December 2005, Doyle and the Republican-controlled Legislature repealed the yearly increases in the state's gas tax, the second-highest in the nation.

But the state is now facing a $5.4 billion projected budget shortfall as well as challenges for the state road fund, which uses gas tax money to pay for highways and bridges. And some business groups have signaled a willingness to return to the automatic increases.

"The simple fact is that where Wisconsin went, where Republicans took us, is unsustainable for transportation (infrastructure), where you say, that's basically it on the gas tax, regardless of what the costs are and what the needs are," Doyle said in a year-end interview with the Wisconsin State Journal. "I think that indexing had served us pretty well for a long period of time."