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Walker: Transportation funding needs new solution

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MINOCQUA, Wis. (WSAU) -- Governor Scott Walker says he’s still looking at options for how to fund the state’s roadways long term. Stopping in Minocqua Thursday, Walker said it’s clear that there needs to be a new solution.  “The gas tax is really not sustainable. As more and more vehicles get better miles, the number of gallons of gas purchased has gone down substantially while the vehicle miles are the same or more, so the wear and tear is greater, even while the number of gallons of gas purchased is less.”

He said one option is switching from a gas tax to a sales tax, which would be a tax based on the price of gas, not just the number of gallons. But he says his administration has not yet formed a specific proposal. Walker also said freight rail is important to the state’s economy, and said rail’s survival would be driven by markets.  “But we know that thanks to God and the glaciers we have some of the best frac sand in the world, and that’s an important link because we know that in the future most of that is going to be transported by freight rail as opposed to over the road motor carriers.”

Walker’s Democratic challenger for the governor’s seat, Mary Burke, has criticized Walker for pulling out of an 800-million dollar passenger rail project connecting Madison and Milwaukee with federal funds.

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