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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

A Toll Road Coming?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy

It seems we have discussions every so often about the possibility of toll roads in the Badger state. The time has come again, apparently.

There is consternation over how we can better afford to maintain existing roads and build new roads given that we have maxed out the spending possible from gas taxes (already way too high). On top of that is the movement toward more fuel efficient vehicles and some that don’t consume gasoline to any large degree that suggests fuel tax collections might actually decrease over time, and not just level off.

I have no way of knowing, but I can speculate that the state’s road builder group is somehow hoping that toll roads are in our collective future. It is interesting to see road project bids that have few bidders; some even have only a partnership of several builders coming together to make the sole project bid thus avoiding competition entirely, or severely limiting competition. Large political contributions probably have nothing to do with any of this…

IF toll roads meant that we could get some reduction in current state fuel tax rates, I could probably feel better about the whole discussion, but that is highly unlikely. We can always find places to put taxpayer dollars…and those places seldom seem to be back in the pockets of the taxpayers.

There is a part of me that would like to see toll roads so that we could extract some of the joy from the flatlanders using our roadways that they must’ve extracted from us using their roadways for all these years. I know that is petty of me, but I’ll bet you are feeling the same if you’d only admit it. Fair is fair, after all.

One of these times, this idea will grow the legs necessary to make it across the goal line. I don’t know if this is the time, but I suspect that it could be close.

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