In our last edition of Hamilton Consulting’s Political Tidbits, we reported the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is facing a $600 – $700 million shortfall in the next state budget. Secretary Mark Gotlieb warned that if the shortfall is not rectified, major transportation projects like the Zoo Enterchange and I-39/90 from Madison to the Illinois state line could be delayed.
In a new interview with the Wisconsin State Journal, Secretary Gotlieb stated that 2015-2017 Transportation budget request would include long-term solutions for the shortfall, but would not include toll roads, which requires an act of Congress. The Wisconsin Transportation Finance and Policy Commission, which met in January 2013, presented a report for overcoming the funding shortage, including an increase the state gas tax by five cents per gallon and an increase annual registration fees for commercial vehicles.
Comparatively, the average Wisconsin driver pays $254 in taxes and fees for transportation, whereas a driver in Illinois pays $318, $352 in Michigan, and $416 in Iowa.
Currently, Secretary Gotlieb is not pushing any specific plan, as the Department of Transportation is currently looking through feedback they collected at community meetings across the state.