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

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.

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