WISCONSIN NEEDS BOTH SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PLANS WITH ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY IN SPENDING

In his letter, published on June 5, 2019, Mr. David Lendved of Lodi referenced a letter I had written last month. He disagreed with me after I argued that the state gas tax should not be increased. He concluded that borrowing funds for transportation projects is unsustainable and placed blame on Republicans. My letter did not advocate for increased borrowing, neither did it present an analysis of other options to raise revenue for transportation projects. It was solely focused on presenting the disadvantages of proposed gas tax increase.

With regard to borrowing, it is important to note that Governor Tony Evers proposed $338 million in bonding, while Republican leaders in the Joint Finance Committee released a transportation funding plan with a lower bonding level – $326 million over the next two years. For any long-term transportation funding plan to succeed, there must be strong accountability and transparency with regard to spending.

While a sustainable long-term plan for statewide road projects is constructed, any short-term plan to fund projects should also be reviewed. Wisconsin Senate Republicans’ plan for one-time $134 million grant funding, using budget surplus, for counties and towns where roads need repair, deserves consideration. Any major transportation plan would likely include a number of funding options and revenue sources, and details would hopefully be finalized in the near future.

My original letter published on May 30, 2019:

https://madison.com/ct/opinion/mailbag/tawsif-anam-don-t-raise-the-gas-tax-to-fix/article_504744c4-6766-532d-8af3-60e2ae483e8f.html

Mr. David Lendved’s letter published on June 5, 2019:

https://madison.com/ct/opinion/mailbag/david-lendved-borrowing-to-pay-for-roads-is-unsustainable/article_69352350-5780-5c05-a2b2-96bc81d0a88e.html

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