As a conservative Republican, I have stood by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and the party through quite a bit. I read about questionable acts in this very newspaper.
The state Legislature’s top Republicans are promising they won’t quarrel among themselves again over transportation funding during state budget deliberations and advocated for toll roads as a means of generating enough money to fix deteriorating roads.
I have done what I could to ignore much of what has gone on. But the talk of putting tolls in Wisconsin is the single worst idea I've heard. Tollways make the Spanish train idea look intelligent.
Yes, the state has a transportation budget shortfall. Now these guys are telling us the best way to raise money is to invest millions of dollars in toll booths, transponders, enforcement, bureaucracy and people.
Sen. Fitzgerald said, "Even with a 10-cent gas tax increase, that's not going to get it done."
Why can't we raise the tax to where we need it to be? They are scared. Citizens don't want to spend more money on government instead of the roads, but that's what tollways will do.
I often drive to Illinois for work. I understand we need more money for the roads. A higher gas tax puts money instantly into the budget. If we build tollways, we will always be paying for them. It's not government money, it is our money. Wouldn't you rather have your money go straight to fix the problem?
I can't believe I'm arguing for a new tax. Shame on me.
Zach Thennes, Madison