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Poll: Wisconsinites against borrowing, tax hikes to pay for road projects

Road Construction - Ramp Closed image Copyright Midwest Communications, Inc. 2014
Road Construction - Ramp Closed image Copyright Midwest Communications, Inc. 2014

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Nobody likes to pay taxes – and not many folks want to “pick a poison” and help legislators decide how to pay for new and improved highways.

Republican Governor Scott Walker refuses to endorse higher taxes and fees. Instead, his proposed state budget would borrow almost $1 billion for transportation projects.

A new statewide poll from the Marquette Law School shows that 73 percent of almost 720 registered voters were against borrowing that much for roads and transit. Only 23 percent favored the bonding.

Walker and majority legislative Republicans shunned a recent task force recommendation for a 5 cent hike in the gas tax, plus increases in existing fees – and a new fee that hinges on how many miles a motorist drives.

Task force members said the extra money was needed just to maintain the roads we already have. But apparently, Wisconsinites either don’t know it, or don’t buy it.

27 percent said they’d be willing to jack up registration fees and gas taxes for highway projects – while 71 percent said no.

Just over half of those surveyed said spending should be cut for highway projects, even if it results in new delays for that work. 44 percent were against such spending cuts.