Wisconsin is a national leader for manufacturing, tourism and agriculture. We need a safe, robust and reliable transportation infrastructure to support these key sectors of our economy. The following items will help ensure that Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure is well-positioned to meet the needs of businesses and consumers.
Transportation & Infrastructure
Adequately fund mega and major road projects throughout the state to keep their completion schedules on time.
We cannot support our state transportation needs without the necessary levels of revenue to do so. WMC will support a modest passenger vehicle registration fee increase, as well as revenue enhancements that account for the use of electric vehicles on our roads. WMC will oppose an increase in the gas tax and indexing it to inflation, industry-specific tax/fee increases, and a general toll program or toll pilot programs.
Clarify that Wisconsin’s railroad related grant funds can be used as matching dollars for federal grants to fully leverage federal funds for railroad infrastructure development, including the establishment of intermodal container facilities and the protection of key freight rail corridors from abandonment.
Provide appropriate state and federal funding to keep our airports and ports on the Great Lakes and Mississippi open to commercial activity.
Transportation revenue must be spent as wisely as possible. Identify areas where costs can be reduced in the construction, delivery or maintenance of state transportation facilities without compromising the safety of the traveling public. Federalize environmental exemptions for highway construction and adopt “practical design” standards.
Ensure there is adequate funding to continue to repair or rebuild economically vital bridges and roads.
Local governments are illegally creating “transportation utilities” and charging “transportation utility fees” to circumvent property tax levy limits and further shift the tax burden onto businesses. Current law does not allow for the creation of such utilities, but the Legislature should act to clarify that local transportation utilities are illegal.
Wisconsin has stricter weight limits than many of its Midwestern neighbors. Increasing the maximum weight limit beyond 80,000 pounds will help keep Wisconsin businesses competitive, reduce the number of trucks on Wisconsin roads, and ease the burdens imposed by the national driver shortage and electronic logging regulations.
As electric vehicles (EVs) grow in prevalence on Wisconsin’s and the nation’s roads, government should allow the private sector to drive adoption of new technologies and sources of energy. WMC promotes market-driven decisions for the allocation of federal EV infrastructure funds and identifying needs and will oppose state or local government owned or subsidized EV charging operations. The legislature should also act to clarify the law with regard to the direct sale of electricity to consumers by non-utility entities.
Many aspects of transportation development and design can and should be done by private sector consultants and engineers. Reduce costs to state government by utilizing private businesses to do design, project management and construction work instead of government employees.
To foster economic development and e-commerce, as well as expand educational opportunities, Wisconsin should encourage the deployment of broadband services in underserved areas without providing taxpayer subsidized competition against the private sector.
Transportation & Infrastructure
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