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Vos Hedges On Tax Swap For Roads To Close Nearly $1B Gap

Walker Opposes Raising Gas Tax Without Corresponding Cuts Elsewere

Wisconsin State Capitol
Rough Tough, Real Stuff (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A top GOP lawmaker said Thursday he’s uncomfortable with cutting income or sales taxes in order to raise taxes for roads.

“I don’t necessarily favor taking money from income and sales tax dollars that could go to fund schools or the university or somewhere else and transferring that into the transportation fund when we know we have needs there,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester.

The state transportation budget faces a nearly $1 billion shortfall in the next biennium, according to state Fiscal Bureau estimates.

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Gov. Scott Walker has said he won’t accept raising the gas tax or other fees to close that gap, unless corresponding cuts are made to other taxes.

Vos said cutting income and sales tax to compensate for a higher gas tax or vehicle registration fees could be difficult.

“I think that would be harder for folks to swallow,” Vos said.

But the speaker added he doesn’t want to draw a line in the sand during transportation budget negotiations. He said every option should be on the table to fix the shortfall.

“I don’t start out with a preconceived notion of, ‘Here’s the silver bullet’ or, ‘Here’s the magic solution,’” Vos said.

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