Research group challenges gas tax proposal, pushing repairs over expansion

By  | 

EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - A proposal that would raise gas prices, registration fees and license fees is being criticized in a new report from a state research group.

Recommendations to raise taxes and fees to pay for road projects were delivered by the state transportation finance and policy commission to law makers Wednesday. Thursday, both drivers and researchers said an increase in funding was necessary, but it needs to go to the right place.

"The vehicles are using less gas, which in turn means less money for all these projects. So I believe an added gas tax is one of the only solutions," Eau Claire driver Phil Prusak said.

The Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group compared the proposal to other states' plans said much of the nearly $480 million dollar increase in taxes and fees is going to the wrong place.

"Let's get our priorities straight, and cut wasteful spending on unnecessary highway projects and redirect that money towards urgent needs that we have. Repair, maintenance and transit needs that are getting used more and more," WISPERG director Bruce Speight said.

With no significant population increase expected and people driving less than they used to, he said building new roads is the wrong thing to do.

"Building extravagant highway projects that aren't needed is a waste of money."

Prusak agreed.

"We need to repair what we have. First of all and take care of some of our crumbling bridges and the roads that are in terrible condition right now," Prusak said.

The comment sections of our web set are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from the viewers but we are not obligated to post comments we feel inappropriate or violate our guidelines. Here are some of the criteria you should follow when posting comments:

Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. Children and families visit this site. We will delete comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.

We will delete all comments using hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our web site.

Comments should not attack other readers personally.

We will delete comments we deem offensive, in bad taste, or out of bounds. We are not obligated to post comments that are rude or insensitive.

We do not edit user-submitted comments.

As a host WEAU 13 News welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However, we have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason WEAU 13 News reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus