A small gas tax increase would not likely produce severe consumer pain at the pump when you consider how every several days the price already fluctuates, sometimes by 10 cents to 15 cents a gallon. To go that route would require measures along the lines of the Governor's Transportation Commission that allocates needed money for transit and long overdue increases for local road maintenance, which both often get shoved off to the side by larger highway or new construction projects.The state legislature is dealing with the opportunity costs of using fuel tax revenues as a piggy-bank for other state projects, or perhaps it's the other way around.
Another benefit of the gas tax is that a large percentage of those dollars come from non-Wisconsin taxpayers. A weight-based registration system makes sense as well. It's common sense that the larger and heavier the vehicle, whether an SUV or semitractor-trailer, there is more wear and tear on the road system - especially in cold weather with salt and ice taking their toll.
Is it too much to hope that Passenger Rail into Madison and Green Bay returns to the policy mix?