NEWS BLOG (WSAU) It’s a bad idea that refuses to die. The Wisconsin Transportation Development Association wants state lawmakers to return to an indexed gas tax.
The TDA is a coalition of construction and road-building concerns. The more money that’s in the transportation trust fund, the more roads they get to build. Of course, they want as much money as possible in the fund.
And I’m willing to debate how much money should be in the transportation fund. I’m willing to debate how that money will get there, via fuel taxes, registration fees, general fund revenue, or bonds. We can even debate what it will be used for, because there certainly will be a heated discussion about whether this money is just for roads or for other things (like high-speed train operating costs).
What I’m not willing to debate is whether taxes should automatically go up without lawmakers taking a vote. That’s what indexing is. If the gasoline tax were tied to inflation it would automatically go up each April depending on the inflation rate. If you’re angry about a tax hike, you should at least have someone in office to hold accountable for it.
And that accountability is specifically why the TDA wants an indexed gas tax. They know that lawmakers don’t have the political will to vote for a tax hike. And when lawmakers don’t have the political will for something, that means it’s bad policy.
Operations Manager, Midwest Communications-Wausau