Letter: Former City Treasurer Shares Transportation Funding Ideas
Letter to the Editor:
Last year I took a trip east and was amazed at how the road conditions are in other states, especially those with a toll tax. Coming back to Wisconsin it was quickly apparent something was wrong with our road repair system. I have a couple of suggestions:
Create a toll system but only at the entrances and exits of the state. This would raise transportation funds and have a minimum impact on Wisconsin residents. This could be set up for electronic collection as Illinois and many other states do. Most out-of-state visitors are already used to paying a toll tax in their state and many other states.
Create a Road Repair Assessment (RRA) which would assess either a nickel or dime per gallon- (not a tax rather an assessment). We have many different special assessments for sewers, sidewalks, etc. all are paid by the user, which this assessment would do as well.
As a former tax collector, I know in talking to many citizens, they do not mind paying more if it accomplishes something specific. This assessment should be returned to the county in which it is collected, the county would then split 50/50 with the municipalities within their county, these funds would be restricted to ONLY REPAIR of current roads. Not planning costs, expansion costs or new roads.
These funds would be used where needed – repair of our roads. I would also put a 10-year life on this assessment so it is not permanent like a tax, but would need review every 10 years. This would cost an average car owner less than the cup of coffee or donuts they buy when filling up.
I ask the politicians and powers that be to consider a toll system and a RRA, this would put the help where it is needed most.