Wisconsin residents are almost evenly split on whether the state should increase the gas tax to raise money for the transportation fund, according to a new poll commissioned by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
The poll of 506 Wisconsin voters, conducted in Dec. 12-14 by the Washington, D.C.-based Tarrance Group, shows 49 percent of respondents favor a gas tax increase, while 48 percent of respondents oppose it.
WMC President Kurt Bauer appeared on "UpFront with Mike Gousha," on WISN-TV Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee, to discuss the poll and say the state's largest business group supports a gas tax hike of about 5 cents a gallon.
Gov. Scott Walker has repeatedly said he will not raise the gas tax or registration fees to fund transportation unless an offsetting tax cut can be made elsewhere.
"We see the need," Bauer said of a gas tax hike. "That's important for us. If you look at transportation, it's important to service our three major economic sectors, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism, so we believe that's an important investment."
WMC's poll also asked about taxes, education and health care costs. Bauer said 58 percent of the respondents said their health care costs have gone up.
"We have to address this," Bauer said. "This is something that has a broader impact, because it makes us uncompetitive internationally, because it's another cost of doing business, and we're much higher than the rest of the world."
-WisPolitics.com is a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee. "UpFront with Mike Gousha," is produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com