4/24/2017, Wisconsin Public Radio – Republican Indiana State Rep. Ed Soliday spoke Monday in Milwaukee about his state’s new transportation funding plan.
Indiana’s plan calls for a 10 cent gas tax increase, an increased vehicle registration fee and the possibility of adding toll roads in the future. Also on Monday, Gov. Scott Walker doubled-down on his opposition to increasing vehicle registration fees to help fund transportation projects in Wisconsin.
Walker has repeatedly said he is also opposed to any gas tax increase.
In a statement released earlier this month, a representative from Walker’s office said the governor “is open to many different options as long as they don’t include an increase in the gas tax” in order to address Wisconsin’s transportation funding shortage.
Soliday said the increased funding being allocated in Indiana is needed to keep up with the wear and tear of the roads.
“In state’s like Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois with freeze thaw and heavy truck transportation, asphalt lasts 15 years,” Soliday said. “If you take care of it, maybe 20. Concrete lasts 30 years, maybe 40 if you take care of it. A lot of our interstates are 60 to 70 years old.”
Soliday said maintenance of roads increases drastically when they fall from fair to poor condition.
Soliday said raising the gas tax to increase funding may not align with conservative party ideas, but roads need to be fixed.
“There are certain things you have to pay for,” he said. “And they’re the role of government and that’s infrastructure. Without infrastructure we can’t get the kids to school, we can’t get grandma to the doctor, we can’t get goods and services to the people.”