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Counties Could Raise Sales Taxes For Road Repairs Under GOP Bill

Sponsor Says Proposal Is Getting More Traction Than In Past Sessions

_chrisUK (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Wisconsin counties could temporarily raise taxes to pay for road maintenance under a bill making its way through the state Legislature.

The plan would let counties ask voters for permission to raise their sales tax by 0.5 percent. If approved, the tax would sunset after four years, but voters could renew it for another four years if they pass another referendum.

Hudson Republican Rep. Dean Knudson said the additional revenue could only be used for road maintenance.

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“It’s for pothole repair and smoother roads and actually, in most cases, I think it would be catching up with maintenance that has fallen behind,” Knudson said.

In addition to counties, the money would be distributed to towns, cities and villages within the counties where the referendums are approved.

While the idea is not new, Knudson said he’s getting more buy-in from across the political spectrum this session. The plan passed an Assembly committee on a unanimous 14-0 vote.