Wisconsin Governor Repeals Annual Gas Tax Increase

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Wisconsin Governor Repeals Annual Gas Tax Increase

MADISON, Wis.-- Wisconsin's automatic, annual increase in the gas tax will be repealed by Gov. Jim Doyle. However, he warned that lawmakers may have to raise registration fees to ensure adequate funding for the state's road system, reported the Associated Press.

The Legislature approved a bill this month to end the annual indexing for inflation in 2007. The bill also would move up by one month, to April 1, a planned penny cut in the portion of the tax that helps cover the costs of environmental cleanup projects, according to the report.

For the past two decades, the state gasoline tax -- among the nation's highest --has increased each year to account for inflation.

Doyle said the bill puts legislators in a tough spot of having to take public votes to increase the gas tax rather than allowing a formula to jack it up each year for inflation. "They also have to consider increasing registration fees," Doyle told the AP. "I think it is good public policy for the Legislature to vote on it."

Ending indexing would mean $5.1 million less for the transportation fund in the two-year budget that ends June 30, 2007. The fund would lose another $75 million without indexing by mid-2009, AP reported.