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Politics & Government

Secretary-designee Says Bad Roads Affects Much

potholes.jpg
Pixabay.com elnab
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The Department of Financial Institutions Secretary-designee would like the public to support Governor Evers budget proposal to get more revenue to fix roads.

Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld says the agency not only looks at the health of financial institutions, but people's financial health overall...

"...One of the things near and dear in the Governor's budget is roads and infrastructure. Making sure we have good, good roads for our citizens and guest to travel on. It has such an overall impact on everything from economic development, agriculture, tourism, safety..."

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, which rates the country’s infrastructure, Wisconsin citizens driving on roads in need of repair costs each driver $637 per year. TRIP, a national nonprofit transportation research group, found that one-half of major local and state-maintained Wisconsin roads are in poor or mediocre condition. The group estimated this costs Wisconsin motorists a total of $6.8 billion annually.

Blumenfeld says the state should act soon...

"...We really need to invest in our roads. The Governor's budget does a nice job of making sure in the future we won't be in that situation. We'll have safe roads, bridges and dams and so forth so we really put our state back in the position we have safe roads..."

Republicans in the legislature have been skeptical of Evers' proposals, citing increased taxes. The legislature repealed automatic indexing of the gas tax in 2005, and when the last automatic adjustment took place in 2006, it had raised the gas tax to about 31 cents per gallon. But its repeal has resulted in more than $1.2 billion in lost revenue for roads.

If passed, Wisconsin’s 32.9-cent-a-gallon tax on vehicle fuel would be bumped to 40.9 cents per gallon to raise about $485 million for transportation projects, costing the average driver about $3 per month.

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