MADISON, Wisc., (September 4, 2018) — AAA is committed to advancing the debate about how to best meet the challenge of maintaining a transportation system capable of serving the travel demands of Americans. A survey recently conducted of Wisconsin AAA members reveals some startling statistics when it comes to road conditions and transportation funding. The need for major rebuilding and rehabilitation of the state’s interstates and arterial highways is coming just as the primary funding mechanism for road maintenance – the gasoline tax – is being strained by inflation and improvements in fuel efficiency.
The revenue shortfall is already taking a toll on the roads conditions, and motorists are noticing. Nearly half (49 percent) of survey respondents rated conditions on state roads and bridges as fair or poor, with only 13 percent rating them as very good or excellent.
While AAA supports recent efforts made by state lawmakers to increase funding for repairs, much of that has come in the form of borrowing against future revenues. The state still lacks a sustainable funding solution for rebuilding major roads nearing the end of their useful lives. The survey reveals that over 70% of respondents recognize that existing state and federal revenues are not enough to maintain the roads in their current condition, and 60% believe that transportation resources are not being allocated appropriately in Wisconsin.
“Our members’ concerns echo those of motorists across Wisconsin. They are frustrated by deteriorating roads and bridges and most believe today’s policy and spending framework isn’t getting the job done,” said Nick Jarmusz, Wisconsin Director of Public Affairs, AAA-The Auto Club Group.
Raising the gas tax, using general revenue and charging tolls on new and existing roads garnered the most support, but a clear consensus on how to increase funding for roads remains elusive.
|Percentage of Survey Respondents Supporting Each Funding Option |
|Increase gasoline taxes||26%|
|Using general revenue to pay for transportation||25%|
|Charge tolls on new roads and highway lanes||21%|
|Charge tolls on existing toll-free roads and highway lanes||21%|
|Selling bonds to raise funds||18%|
|Charge tax based on vehicle miles traveled (e.g., road usage charge)||15%|
|Increase registration/plate fees||15%|
|Indexing the gas tax based on inflation||13%|
|Increase other taxes to pay for transportation (sales, income, property taxes)||9%|
|None, do not support any of the above||16%|