UpFront: DOT secretary ponders future of road funding

State DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb says the future could be bumpy for Wisconsin drivers.

“If we don’t find some sort of adequate and sustainable system for financing transportation, I think people are going to see continuing degradation of our pavements,” Gottlieb said on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” a weekly TV show produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com. “They’re not going to see as much relief from congestion as we’d like to deliver either.”

Although highways benefitted from a 4 percent increase in this state budget, Gottlieb said that infrastructure funding fails to adequately cover the costs of maintenance. In response, his office is conducting a series of town hall meetings to discuss options.

Gottlieb said the DOT is also looking at tactics used by other states, including reducing dependence on user fees, like the diminishing fuel sales tax, and drawing more from the general fund.

“Good investments in transportation bring economic growth, they bring jobs, and they bring economic prosperity,” Gottlieb said. “Fixing the transportation problem could become part of a much larger tax reform package.”

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