Tiffany: wait for DOT reforms before considering raising transportation taxesSubmitted: 09/04/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Tiffany: wait for DOT reforms before considering raising transportation taxes
RHINELANDER - Many state leaders believe everything should be on the table to fix Wisconsin roads.

They mean the state should consider higher gas taxes, registration fees, or tolls to pay for roadbuilding.

Northwoods Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) sees it a different way.

He thinks reforms in the state DOT could save enough money to make up the gap. Tiffany points to programs like strengthening bridges instead of rebuilding them.

"In my experience with state government, you've got to have the reforms first before you put more money in," Tiffany said. "That's where a number of us come from. Let's have the reforms first, and then, if we need more revenue, there needs to be some revenue uppers, then let's do it at that point."

Tiffany said replacing former DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb with Dave Ross was a good move a year and a half ago. But Democrats aren't confident roads will improve without more money.

"This is not an overnight fix. But, by gosh, nothing is being done now. We've got to start doing something, and we've got to start doing it now," said Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire). "We've got to have some revenue generating factors if we're going to run this state like adults."

Most Democrats agree the DOT needs more money coming in. Many Republicans, like Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander), say all options should be on the table.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Nearly half of the entire state of Wisconsin voted this month. November's midterm election brought out more voters than usual. But after all those ballots are cast, there are a few rules about what happens to them. Carrying those rules out takes a lot of teamwork. 

After all the ballots are cast on Election Day, they end up at a county clerk's office. Vilas County Clerk Dave Alleman says ballots must be kept for 22 months, but that presidential elections ballots are kept a little longer.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Cold weather and some early-November snow means it's almost time for ski season to start. 

The Camp 10 Ski Area in Rhinelander is preparing to make snow so it can open for skiers and snowboarders.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Downtown Rhinelander will be a little brighter this holiday season.

The Rhinelander Community Foundation bestowed a $13,000 grant to make it happen.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A handful of women in Rhinelander want to make sure everyone stays warm this chilly season.

The women want to be identified as "Secret Santas."

About 20 scarves that appear to be handmade are stapled to street posts all along Lincoln Street.

The scarves come in a variety of colors with a note that reads, "If you are cold…need one, take one".

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander firefighters wanted to teach kids in Rhinelander about fire prevention and did just that. More than 800 children got that education last month.

Fire prevention week ran from October 7 through 13. But Rhinelander Fire Chief Terry Williams wanted his department to make it a month-long project.

+ Read More

MADISON - Another Republican state senator is raising concerns with a $100 million tax break bill for paper products giant Kimberly-Clark Corp.

State Sen. Luther Olsen said Wednesday during a public hearing on the measure that he's "not convinced that this is the right thing for the state to do."

The Assembly passed the bill in February but it's stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate due to lack of votes. Three other Republicans have previously publicly opposed the bill.

+ Read More

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he hasn't spoken with the media since his election defeat out of "decency."

Walker posted on Facebook Wednesday that "the decent thing to do is to let Governor-elect Tony Evers have his time to talk about his transition."

Walker has posted messages on Twitter since his loss, but his office has not responded to numerous questions over the past week, including issues facing the Legislature in an upcoming lame duck session.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here