Should Wisconsin tax semi trucks to raise road funds?

My Take

Republicans in the Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker are trying to solve the state’s $1 billion transportation fund deficit.

One proposal was a 2.85 cents-per-mile tax on semitrailer trucks. But several business groups criticized that idea, as did five Republican state senators.

Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association president Neal Kedzie opposes the semi truck tax, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and other GOP Assembly leaders issued a response to critics of the idea.


Vos

“YES”

Robin Vos
Assembly Speaker
(R-Rochester)

Taxing trucks

“The heavy truck fee could increase transportation revenue by $138 million annually. Four states across the nation have benefited from a minimal (tax) increase on heavy trucks. This proposal is only one potential piece of a larger budget plan that asks all users of the roads to contribute higher user fees.”

The need

“I trust we can all agree that our state’s infrastructure is in desperate need of repair. Without new revenue, construction will halt and costs will increase as projects are delayed.”

Other options

“Earlier this year, we put forth a proposal to meet Gov. Walker’s original criteria of raising revenues and providing a corresponding tax cut. That plan sought to find additional savings at DOT, cut the minimum markup on gas, increase sales tax on gas and also begin a path toward a flat income tax in our state.”


Kedzie

“NO”

Neal Kedzie
President
Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association

Taxing trucks

“While it may be very easy to target one type of vehicle in one specific industry, what lawmakers who support this plan fail to understand is the trucking industry is currently the single largest payer into the transportation fund. Thus, demanding trucking companies pay even more to fund transportation projects is not only short-sighted, it will harm consumers and the delivery of goods across the state.”

The need

“Wisconsin trucking companies are committed to working with the Legislature and interested parties in finding equitable and long-term solutions to funding our highway infrastructure.”

Other options

“The industry has expressed its willingness to accept a modest increase in the fuel tax which would be shared by all highway users, not just one category of user. In fact, the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association has been on record for several years now in support of a 5 cent increase in the fuel tax.”

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