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Commission expected to give final OK to transportation fundraising plan


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A state commission is expected to give final approval Wednesday to its recommendations for raising billions of dollars to maintain Wisconsin’s current transportation system.

Governor Scott Walker has already rejected some of the proposals from the Transportation Finance and Policy panel – including a five cent hike in the gasoline tax.

The panel also endorsed a jump in vehicle registration fees, and peg it to the numbers of miles people drive. Drivers would also pay more to renew their licenses, and trade-ins would no longer get a sales tax exemption.

Those measures would bring in an extra $479 million over 10 years – and commission members say it’s needed just to maintain the roads, bridges, airports, railroads, bike paths, and mass transit that Wisconsin already has.

The panel’s report says all the increases would add up to a $120 annual hike in transportation fees for the average Wisconsin motorist.

The Republican Walker says improving the infrastructure is one of his main priorities – but he has already come out against a higher gas tax and tolls. He’ll outline his proposals in the new state budget he’ll submit to lawmakers in about a month.