Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WisDOT revenue could decline: tax hikes on the way?

There are fewer miles being driven in fewer new trucks, depriving the Wisconsin Department of Transportation of funds needed for unneeded highway projects.

Are stealth taxes on the way? Indeed, we could very well be headed back to the days when state legislators, too timid to vote for tax increases they favor, make the increases automatic.

The only thing keeping the transportation fund growing over the next two years is Gov. Doyle's proposed oil company profits tax, according to projections by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Almost all of the $265 million in new revenue contained in the governor's proposed transportation budget comes from the oil fee, according to the LFB memo.

"Without these tax and fee changes, net transportation fund revenues would fall by 1.1% in 2009-10, relative to 2008-09, and by 0.3% in 2010-11, relative to 2009-10, due primarily to falling motor fuel tax collections and increasing revenue bond debt service," the memo said.

Since the oil tax seems to have a very slim chance of ultimate survival and since Doyle must keep the road builders fat, happy and busy because he is beholden to their campaign largesse and since he recently is opinining in favor of automatic gas tax indexing (which he recently opposed), get ready to pay more to drive less.

1 comment:

Dave Reid said...

It seems to me the gas tax should go back in place, at least to insure funds for a fix it first approach are available.