JSOnline brings us a story about the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Panel looks at mileage-based fees for state drivers
By Larry Sandler of the Journal Sentinel
A panel is examining whether Wisconsin motorists should pay fees based on how many miles they drive.
The mileage-based fee – which would be the first such charge in the nation – would be levied in addition to gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, Transportation Secretary Mark Gott lieb said.
It would be based on drivers reporting their odometer readings to the state, because Transportation Finance & Policy Commission members are showing little interest in the more controversial idea of monitoring mileage by installing global positioning system units in everyone’s vehicles, Gott lieb said.
Gottlieb is the chairman of the advisory panel, which was created by the Legislature to examine whether Wisconsin should change the way that it pays for highways, buses and other forms of transportation. The commission hasn’t reached any final recommendations yet, and anything that it recommends will require approval from lawmakers and the governor before becoming law.
Legislators set up the commission in response to concern that the state’s main transportation revenue sources, the gas tax and the vehicle registration fee, will fall short of paying for the state’s future transportation needs. Transportation officials nationwide are concerned about a trend of gas tax revenue flattening out as vehicles become more fuel-efficient and as motorists respond to rising gas prices by reducing their driving.
Assuming those revenue sources and federal aid stay at existing levels, the state Department of Transportation projects it will have $26.8 billion available to spend over the next 10 years.
But commission members estimated last week that would be $8.7 billion short of what is needed to maintain existing transportation facilities and complete projects the state is already committed to carrying out, Gottlieb said. State highways alone account for about $6 billion of that shortfall, he said.
Read more at JSOnline.
So the WDOT want’s more money! Really? Since when do they have the taxing authority over the legislature and governor? We have a few questions. If they will run short of money for their projects:
why do we need so many round-a-bouts built in the state? Which cost a 1/2 to 1 mil dollars more than a regular intersection. The HWY 29 / 41 interchange project in Green Bay will have 26 to 28 round-a-bouts. That would be a savings of $13 million dollars if they would just build a regular intersection. There is being built another 16 round-a-bouts in Winnebago County. that’s another $8 million dollars in savings. That almost covers the supposed shortfall.
why at every round-a-bout do you need 15 to 20 street lights by them? By the way who pays for the extra electricity?
on county and side roads in Wisconsin, why do they need curbs at the intersections? Years ago I asked my local republican county supervisor for example, why do they put curbs on local side roads? He said if they don’t spend the money, they will get less next year. What?
concerning the HWY 41 and 29 road construction projectes from Oshkosh to Green Bay, why do over passes with brick formed walls have to be painted to look like real red bricks? Can’t you skip the paint?
How can state highways account for $6.7 of $ 8.3 billion dollars of a shortage. Where is all that money going to?
Can you see the madness. The Wisconsin DOT has grown to a massive dragon that is getting bigger and larger as time goes on. They now want to tax people on the miles they drive? If Jim Doyle was still governor with democrats in charge of the legislature, you know these extra taxes would of been a done deal already.
How long will the tax payers put up with this? We have to ask, how can Governor Scott Walker put up with the WDOT? Why is he protecting the DOT? Why is spending at the WDOT getting out of hand in a time of stretched budgets stretched to there limits? Is the WDOT the third rail that Governor Walker will not touch in the state of Wisconsin? Are politicians protecting the road builders and their cash cow of unlimited flow of tax dollars? Who is authorizing the overdecorated, over priced, over paid road projects?
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is going rogue, is responsible for the over spending and has to be stopped!
A mileage tax, toll roads or a raise in licence registration fees is not the answer to the problem.
It’s the overspending that is the problem.