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Commission gives final approval of fee hikes for transportation maintenance

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Highway travel
Highway travel

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Members of a task force urged Governor Scott Walker Wednesday to take a serious look at the group’s proposals to jack up fees to maintain the state’s transportation network.

The bi-partisan Transportation Finance and Policy Commission gave its final approval to fee hikes that would raise $479 million a year over the next decade. Officials say the money’s needed just to maintain the roads and transportation systems that what we have, and not let them get worse.

The Republican Walker and top legislative leaders have already rejected the group’s proposed five cent a gallon gas tax hike. The panel also recommends higher license plate fees based on a vehicle’s mileage, higher driver license fees, and the end of a sales tax break on trade-ins.

Panel member John Antaramian, a former Democratic lawmaker and Kenosha mayor, said it would be an uphill battle to get the measures approved. But he says Walker and the Republican Legislature must look at the state’s needs, and the importance of addressing them.

The group says its proposals would cost the average motorist an extra $120 a year.

Antaramian says he has faith that lawmakers will deal with the issue. Walker has says improving the infrastructure is one of his top priorities – and he’ll lay out his ideas next month when he proposes his new state budget. 

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