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Vos: Gas Tax Increase ‘Probably Not’ In Next Budget

Assembly Speaker Not Conceding Defeat On Possible Gas Tax Hike

Robin Vos
Office of Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos via AP Photo

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said Wednesday state lawmakers will “probably not” raise the gas tax in the next state budget.

Speaking at a WisPolitics lunch in Madison, Vos cited Gov. Scott Walker’s opposition to raising the gas tax without a corresponding tax cut elsewhere in the budget.

“If you are a card player, I have a pair of twos, the governor has a straight, and I have to draw three of a kind to win,” Vos said. “Now, it’s not impossible, but I wouldn’t bet on me.”

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Walker has consistently opposed any tax increase in the 2017-2019 biennial budget, including in his State of the State address earlier this month. Last week, his campaign began circulating an online petition opposing tax increases.

But Vos said Wednesday he isn’t completely conceding defeat regarding the potential gas tax bump.

“I think we need to leave all options on the table, but at the end of the day I want to make sure we’re not creating a situation where people think we can enact something without Governor Walker’s, at least, participation,” he said.

Vos said he believes Walker’s position on the issue is “immovable,” but said there is a “reasonable chance” lawmakers will be able to identify a corresponding cut so the increase could be considered.

A gas tax increase is one option advanced by some state Republicans looking for ways to close a nearly $1 billion projected state Department of Transportation budget gap.

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