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August Slams Tax Increases in Transportation Report

August Slams Tax Increases in Transportation Report

Report calls for massive, unnecessary tax increases on Wisconsin drivers.


MADISON…State Representative Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva) voiced his strong opposition today regarding the recent report released by the Wisconsin Transportation Finance and Policy Commission.  The report contained a study of Wisconsin’s transportation system and recommended $6.8 billion in tax and fee increases on Wisconsin motorists.


“The billions in recommended tax and fee increases in this report are outrageous,” said August.  “Thankfully these recommendations are just that, recommendations, and would need to be passed by the full Legislature before becoming law.  I will fight against these unnecessary tax and fee increases from ever becoming law.”


Specifically, the Transportation Finance and Policy Commission recommended the following tax and fee increases on Wisconsin motorists:


  • Raising the state gas tax by five cents per gallon
  • Creating a new mileage-based registration fee for passenger vehicles
  • Increasing heavy truck registration fees
  • Increasing the fee for the state’s eight-year drivers’ license by $20
  • Eliminating the sales tax exemption on the trade-in value of vehicles
  • Creating unelected taxing bodies known as Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs)


“The bottom line is that these tax and fee increases would hit Wisconsin’s families and small businesses who are already having trouble making ends meet,” said August.  “Obviously a strong transportation and road system is important to our state’s economy, but the answer can be found by prioritizing current funding while protecting the transportation fund from the raids instead of massive tax hikes.”


The recommendations would translate into as much as a $250 increase per vehicle per year.  It is important to note that the new mileage-based fee would be on top of the already existing registration fee.  This additional fee would fall solely on the pocket books of Wisconsin drivers as out of state drivers would not pay.


“Perhaps the most troubling development coming from this commission other than the large tax increases, was the statement by commission member and former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz that the motivation for the tax increases was to discourage people from driving and to think twice about driving that extra mile,” said August.  “I realize Mayor Dave comes from an anti-automobile culture in Madison where people can take advantage of taxpayer subsidized mass transit, but I challenge him to walk in the shoes of the average Wisconsinite that must commute to work, drive their kids to school, or get products to the marketplace.  For most of us, driving is a necessity and we feel we already pay too much at the pump.”