Gas Tax Proposal: Should Annual Increase Continue?

The battle over Wisconsin's annual gas tax increase could come to a head Tuesday as the Senate is likely to vote on a proposal to nix it.

The debate is about the automatic increase that hikes the gas tax to keep pace with inflation.

The proposal by Republican Senator Tom Reynolds of Wauwatosa would eliminate the automatic hikes starting in April 2007.

Wisconsin's gas tax of 29-point-nine cents per gallon is one of the highest in the nation.

By the time the proposal would take effect, the tax would jump to 31-point-three cents a gallon.

The bill must pass both houses of the Legislature before it could go to Governor Jim Doyle for his review.

If it were signed into law, the change would cut more than five (m) million dollars out of the more than three (b) billion dollar transportation fund in the two-year budget than ends in June 2007.

Road builders have lined up against the proposal, along with Assembly Speaker John Gard.

Gard says the annual increases ensure a steady money stream to pay for critical infrastructure.

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