Walker won't rule out raising fees to boost state transportation budget
BLANCHARDVILLE, Wis. (WKOW) -
Governor Scott Walker says he is still against raising the state's gas tax to pay for road improvements, but did not rule out raising fees to cut into Wisconsin's nearly $1 billion transportation deficit in an interview about the state budget Thursday afternoon.
With Republican lawmakers scrapping Governor Walker's transportation budget and starting from scratch, it appears there may now be room for negotiation on both sides.
Speaking to WKOW-TV at Pecatonica High School, Governor Walker said he talked at length with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) on Wednesday about new money for roads.
The Governor said he feels confident they are working towards a solution, and did not rule out raising additional money through additional fees for things like vehicle registration.
"To me, it's one of those where I just don't want the overall burden going up. And so, I've said a gas tax isn't a reasonable approach. There might be some other ways. Again, part of what we're doing is finding savings," said Gov. Walker.
Gov. Walker has previously said he isn't open to either a gas tax or fee increase.
Speaker Vos has said everything should be on the table to close the transportation budget deficit and reduce the amount of borrowing the state uses to pay for road projects.
Wisconsin currently borrows roughly 22 cents for every dollar spent on transportation, with projections showing the amount going up to 25 cents by the end of the decade.