WisDOT Transportation Proposal Summary  

On Friday November 14, 2014 the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) submitted its budget request to the Governor for consideration.  Highlights of the proposal include:   

Transportation Facility Improvement Program
(Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) Federal Aid Urban & Rural (STP-U & STP-R))
The proposal combines STP-U, STP-R and LRIP into a new Local Transportation Facility Improvement Program. Funding for each of the three programs is maintained at current levels and combined as well as increased by $30.1 million total and removes all federal dollars to reduce complexity, increase local control, and reduce delivery costs.

Projects will be divided into two tiers:  complex and simple.  Complex projects will be state let, while simple projects will be locally let with county oversight. The match for most projects will be 60 percent state/40 percent local, as opposed to 50/50 under the existing LRIP program.

In addition to the new Transportation Facility Improvement program, WisDOT is maintaining current program levels and proposing an additional $9.9 million for local bridge funding.

Transit Operating Aids
Under the proposal, mass transit will be funded by general purpose revenue (GPR) with WisDOT retaining oversight of the program. The proposal establishes a 2 percent across the board increase for each transit tier. It also establishes a new $15 million capital program (80/20 match) and a $16.1 million program for targeted areas of increased transit service. The new funding mechanisms will be fully implemented by fiscal year 2017.  The transit investment proposed by WisDOT amounts to a $60.7 million increase over the biennium.

General Transportation Aids (GTA) - County Aid
The proposal maintains current funding levels for General Transportation Aids.

State Highway Maintenance
The proposal adds additional dollars to the state highway operations portion of the program.  The WisDOT proposal maintains the $52.5 million increase counties received in the last budget.  

Elderly and Disabled Specialized Transportation Aids for Counties
The WisDOT proposes a 1.0 percent annual increase for the program. This results in about $437,600 for the biennium.  

Funding Sources and Fund Transfers
The WisDOT proposal is primarily funded by three revenue sources:  a new highway user fee, changes to the state gas tax and general fund support. 
    *    Highway User Fee: The proposal establishes a new highway user fee, which imposes a 2.5% fee on all new autos and trucks. The fee would amount to $800 for a $32,000 vehicle and is expected generate $378.9 million over the biennium.
    *    Motor Fuel Tax:  The proposal changes the motor fuel tax from the fixed rate 30.9 cents per gallon, to a hybrid tax, generating an estimated $358.4 million over the biennium. The state gas tax would be reduced to 13.5 cents per gallon plus 8% of the average wholesale price of fuel the previous calendar year.
    *    General Fund Support:  The proposal transfers $573.6 million in general purpose revenue into the segregated transportation fund.

In addition to these revenue sources, the proposal also calls for transferring unspent money from the Petroleum Inspection Fund to the transportation fund, something that has occurred in the past.  Also, the proposal includes an additional $50 registration fee for hybrid and electric cars.  

For More Information

Daniel J. Fedderly; P.E.,P.L.S.
WCHA Executive Director  

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Daniel Bahr
WCA Government Affairs Associate

Wisconsin Counties Association
22 East Mifflin Street, Suite 900
Madison, Wisconsin 53703