MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Congressman Reid Ribble is against tolls on Wisconsin expressways to generate more money for highways.
The Sherwood Republican debated the topic with Assembly Republican Dave Murphy of Greenville at a forum put on by WisPolitics.Com and WisBusiness.Com.
It's getting to be a popular subject, after 56 percent in a recent Marquette Law School said they would support tolls -- and 42 percent are against them.
Ribble said Wisconsin is a "tough place to toll" because of its relatively short stretches of Interstate highways, a divided public opinion, and the expenses of running a toll system compared to just raising the gas tax.
Murphy said tolls can generate a lot of revenue because they get money from out of state motorists -- and the short distances would not be that much of a problem.
Ribble said visitors already help pay for Wisconsin roads because they buy gas in the state. State officials say all of us are not buying enough gas to keep up with the demands for new and improved roads.
The DOT is looking at various options for new revenue, but Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb says he'd be against tolls personally. He said the federal government would have to approve them, and that takes time.
Ribble said the issue is on the table in Congress, and he didn't believe it would be "that difficult" to get federal approval.
(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)