Nov 28, 2014

Wisconsin Department of Transportation: Considering a Fuel Hike

Door County Daily News, Rick Jensen ...
The State Department of Transportation has proposed a nickel a gallon hike in the state gasoline tax and a dime a gallon hike in the tax on diesel fuel.
Wisconsin Motorcarriers Association President Neal Kedzie – a former state senator – says this is just the start of the discussion.
The proposal is to raise the state tax on gasoline five cents and diesel ten cents. Because of taxes, the price at the pump for diesel is either the same or more than regular gasoline - historically this was never so.
In addition, the Wisconsin DOT proposes that the legislature pass an annual fee for hybrid and electric vehicles that cost more than other vehicles in sticker price and now maintenance of the alternate energy vehicles that the environmentalists are screaming about will have an annual fee. 

New vehicles costing $32,000 will be slapped with an additional $800 on the sales tax. For other vehicles there will be an annual fee as well. The Wisconsin DOT states that it requires $751 million over the next two years - above what they receive in state budgeting. Why?
They have itemized the proposed tax increases, but have not itemized why they need $751 million more than what they are budgeted for. 
When fuel costs go up, so does cost of transportation from the local taxi to the tractor trailer that delivers to local retailers. That also means a rise in the cost of shipping, whether it is by FedEx or UPS. Will your wages and salaries go up with the increase? Not likely.
The budget proposal was given to Governor Scott Walker ten days after his re-election. Before Doyle left his office he hiked taxes and state fees to the tune of $1 billion. Why is the state not working on that budget? State fees went up as much as 38%. For example, a title transfer once cost $45, but when Doyle and legislature partners got done (after promising not to raise taxes on his campaign), the fee rose to $69. That is some increase. Many would not have complained with a $5 increase, but that fee and others were ridiculous, especially in an economic crunch.
Politicians always blame others, including other politicians, for what they create - problems.
For decades, the practice of government was not to budget, but instead squeeze more funds from the citizens - taxing everything that moves or does not move. If they do not increase taxes they devise ways to add a new tax.
Governor Walker has not spoken much about the proposed tax increase. I do not think it will get anywhere until those elected in November take office. Many of those candidates ran on the principle of not raising taxes, but instead, budgeting more responsibly. 
Now we will see if they do what they were voted to do - maintain a budget and keep costs down. 
Don't forget, Wisconsin collects tax from your income AND other sources: utilities, gasoline, diesel, retail (food exempted, thank goodness), and communications to name most taxed sources.
I am confident that Governor Walker will seek an alternative to the situation, like forcing the state legislature (and state departments) to seek ways to lower costs, not raise revenue.
Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas from the state DOT.
Would it be nice if folks like us could just tell our bosses to raise our wages because we run over our budget?
That is what politicians do and expect - and it is time to just say "Hell NO!"
Door County is primarily a seasonal recreation area, where much of the local revenue comes from tourism, the rest from farming and fishing. The least amount of revenue comes from manufacturing. They are going to have to raise their prices because the government cannot budget.

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