Thursday, February 04, 2010

Doylet Line ChooChoo to Deplete Gas Tax Funds

On the one hand, we have a former WI Sec'y of Transport:

Toll roads in Wisconsin are unavoidable, given the need for billions of dollars to pay for road and transportation improvements in the state, a former state transportation secretary [Tom Carlsen] said Thursday...

...gas taxes alone won't generate enough money to rebuild the aging freeway system and support the transit needs in the southeast part of the state. Improvements in fuel efficiency and the increasing use of alternative fuels will decrease the money generated through the motor fuels tax, which provides nearly 60% of the Department of Transportation's annual spending.

Interesting. We see the weasel-wording in there: "....and support the transit needs..." is code for choochoos, which will be sucking the blood of Wisconsin taxpayers from the moment they fire up the diesels the first time.

Compare to this:

Cars pay more in fuel and other taxes than is spent on building and keeping highways. The feds reckoned in 2004 that for every 1,000 miles traveled, cars paid $1.79 more in taxes than their roads consumed in public money.

The Fed study is 5 years old, yes, and in that time, one suspects that the fleet has become more efficient. But not that much.

The elephant in the parlor car is this: the choochoo will deplete the Transportation fund even faster than the fuel tax can re-load it. The Doylet Line will eat your highways, folks.


Billiam said...

You'll never convince the choochoo supporters. They think money grows on trees, that happy thoughts can accomplish anything. They'll never understand, much less admit that WE CAN'T AFFORD IT! Hell, when this state goes bankrupt, they'll still be in denial.

Disgruntled Car Salesman said...

Not that Bagman Jim uses the fuel taxes for reconstructing our roads anyway. Ex - Hwy 94/45 interchange.