Josh Zepnick
Press Release

Rep. Zepnick Proposes Transportation Funding for Wisconsin Communities

Zepnick’s plan allows cities or counties to tax gasoline at the pump with Wisconsin’s sales tax, and all revenue be placed in a local infrastructure fund

By - May 13th, 2015 02:13 pm

Milwaukee – State Representative Josh Zepnick announced a plan today that would offer municipalities a valuable tool to update their crumbling infrastructures.

Zepnick’s plan allows cities or counties to tax gasoline at the pump with Wisconsin’s sales tax, and all revenue be placed in a local infrastructure fund.  Under this plan, a city or county with a majority vote approved by their governing authorities could implement up to the 5% state sales tax on the gas pump.  For Milwaukee County, this could yield between $10 and $50 million annually for Transportation projects.

“This plan will give Wisconsin communities the ability to maintain our roads, bridges, transit and local infrastructure.  Taxpayers deserve an open and transparent debate about Wisconsin’s budget and transportation fund shortfalls.  That open debate is nowhere to be found in the State Capitol.

“My constituents are not supportive of the unnecessary and expensive I-39 expansion in South Central Wisconsin; they’re concerned with filling potholes.  Unlike Southeastern Wisconsin, there simply is not enough population density from Wisconsin residents along the I-39 corridor. Trucks passing through dominate I-39 and some form of tolling may make more sense there.  Similarly, the gigantic borrowing needed to fund about 4 miles of Interstate 94 between State Fair Park and the Marquette Interchange is a perfect example of something that can be done safely but at a much cheaper price tag for taxpayers.

“Wisconsin communities need more flexibility in transit and fixing their roads.  Republicans in Madison want to create a shell game that cuts local road aids.  This is a wrong-headed move.  Just days ago, Republican leaders floated legislation that could cut local road aids from the segregated fund and force counties to raise their sales taxes on all goods and services, including many non-transportation related and necessary daily expenses for hard-working families.  The serious danger with such proposals is that every local community in our state, especially the metro Milwaukee area, sends millions of dollars every year to the Segregated Fund through gas taxes and vehicle registration fees.  This plan would pit one area of the state against another and it could punish large urban areas like Milwaukee.”

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