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Senator Carpenter to DOT Commission: “Don’t even think about it.”

 
Madison — Today State Senator Tim Carpenter (D–Milwaukee) responded to a report that the members of the Transportation Finance & Policy Commission were considering raising revenue for the Department of Transportation by returning to the days of yearly automatic gas tax increases in our state. Senator Carpenter’s response was direct.
 
“Don’t even think about it,” said Carpenter.
 
Senator Carpenter sponsored legislation and authored budget amendments for several legislative sessions to repeal gas tax indexing. “I fought for years to eliminate automatic gas tax increases. The 2006 elimination of the gas tax indexing was a significant step forward in making sure that elected officials are accountable to the taxpayers. All tax hikes in Wisconsin should be openly and publicly debated, and voted on under scrutiny of the citizens who will bear the burden of such taxes,” Carpenter stated.
 
“From 1985 to 2006, the gas tax in Wisconsin increased 21 times without a vote by the legislature. In 2006, we were able to eliminate this automatic tax increase, and require all gas tax increases to be voted on by legislators who are directly accountable to the voters,” said Carpenter.
 
“In tough economic times, all ideas regarding taxation and spending need to be examined. However, reinstating gas tax indexing is, in effect, taking away the people’s representation on gas tax increases. This is not honest and it is not right,” said Carpenter.
 
The non-partisan Fiscal Bureau estimates that increases in the gas tax due to indexing have been cumulatively responsible for $4.67 billion in additional gas tax revenue from 1985- 2008.