State must broaden transportation funding
This is among commentaries submitted to The Gazette from students at Janesville’s Craig and Parker high schools who did field studies in either Washington, D.C., or Madison in Advanced Placement U.S. government courses taught by Joe Van Rooy.
Funding the highway and road systems is essential in our economy. Roads do more than provide us safe and easy means for travel. They also provide jobs and create revenue throughout our state and nation.
State highway funding comes from two main sources: gas taxes and registration fees. This is the narrowest base of funding in the country.
“We need to diversify and broaden our base of funding sources if we are going to continue to fund all modes of transportation out of the transportation fund,” said an official at the Transportation Development Association.
The government needs to prepare a new plan for funding in the near future. We can’t let our roads crumble due to lack of funds.
Investing in new, large road projects would help spur the economy. Through large projects such as fixing the St. Croix bridge, jobs and revenue will go into the state.
According to the federal government, for every $1 billion of highway improvements, approximately 28,000 jobs are supported directly and indirectly.
“The commonly used multiplier is 7. Spending $1 on infrastructure results in a boost of $7 to the economy as the money is spent on labor, supplies, etc.,” said an official at the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association.
The investment in our highways infrastructure is a necessity and would benefit everyone.