For Transportation, and Transportation Only

Budget, budget, budget - everywhere you turn in the news you see discussions on it. From the sequester on a federal level to conversations on state and local levels, budget and taxes are key topics and more frequently are focusing on transportation. Wisconsin is not immune from this and has been battling the rising transportation costs and declining revenue that nearly every state is seeing. Acerbating this issue is the increasing use of transportation funds to fill gaps in non-transportation- related budgets. Currently 22 states allow fuel tax revenue, a key source of transportation funding, to be used for purposes other than highways. That number may soon drop.

Wisconsin legislators have approved a constitutional amendment that would prevent the diversion of transportation funds for other purposes. The amendment is set to be on the November, 2014, ballot and addresses funding tied to the state's 32.9-cent diesel and gasoline tax in addition to vehicle registration and license fees. And Wisconsin isn't alone; Maryland also is considering a similar restriction on transportation-related revenue. Although not as far along as Wisconsin, Maryland lawmakers have submitted a number of bills, from constitutional amendment proposals to state statute requests, to protect the funds raised by transportation. Truckers have been urging states to pass laws protecting transportation funding from diversion to non-transportation-related needs before considering tax increases to raise additional highway funds.

As America's infrastructure continues to age and budgets for state services face increasing pressure, protecting funding for vital transportation maintenance and improvements will become all the more important and contested. You can help by participating in local town hall meetings with lawmakers, keeping your representatives informed on the importance of trucking to our state and national economy, and advising them how the economy is impacted by the quality of our transportation infrastructure.

This entry was posted on March 18th, 2013 by bobby and is filed under Recent News & Updates.