Boots & Sabers

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1859, 13 Jun 16

Republicans Push for Tax Increase

There is a tax-raising uprising happening in the Wisconsin GOP.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke, R-Kaukauna, says lawmakers need to find a long-term fix for the transportation fund.

Appearing Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” Steineke said the fund has a more than $600 million shortfall and the Department of Transportation is having to look at delaying projects and maintenance.

“We’re going to pay for this at some point,” Steineke said. “So either we pay for it now and fix it, fix the fund for the long term, or we’re going to make our kids pay for it down the road.”

Gov. Scott Walker has said he’s opposed to raising the gas tax or registration fees unless the increase is offset somewhere else in the state budget.

Steineke said he respects the governor’s position, but an offset is “unrealistic” given other budget pressures.

“I think we’re letting our rigid ideology get in the way of reality,” Steineke said.


1859, 13 June 2016


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Stop overpaying for road projects.

  2. old baldy


    Do you have any experience with designing, bidding and managing road or bridge construction or maintenance at any level? Do you have any proof other than your opinion that we are “overpaying for road projects” ? (Personally I think Dilly Bars are waay too expensive).

    What would you recommend as far as cutting the costs? Lesser quality materials? Poorer design? Eliminate safety features like beam guard? Or the old fall back – cut wages ?

  3. Kevin Scheunemann

    I could go over the state DOT bloat in Hwy 28 project in Kewaskum, especially when it came to last minute contracted 300% surge in cement mixture for sewer, but somehow you would claim “I made it up”.

    State agencies rarely look after cost/benefit analysis.

  4. old baldy


    Why don’t you provide some details? The “last minute contracted 300% surge in cement mixture for sewer” is interesting, as sewers are usually the locals responsibility. But enlighten us all.

    “State agencies rarely look after cost/benefit analysis.” That you did make up.

  5. Kevin Scheunemann

    Of course sewers are local responsibility, that’s why we were outraged by DOT process on it, which we were mandated to do, because it was a state highway.

  6. old baldy


    It is DOT’s road. If you want your sewers in their ROW you play by their rules. You shouldn’t have been outraged, but rather have been curious as to how the process works. Maybe your municipal consultant failed to keep you informed.

    But you still haven’t provided any details, only opinion.

    As to the name theif that posted at 6:40… get a life.

  7. Northern Pike

    I kind of side with Kevin on this argument.

    One potential way to cut costs is a combined construction/maintenance bid – structure the contract so that the winning bidder is responsible for maintenance over a certain period of time. It would give the contractor an incentive to build a road that lasts as long as possible.

  8. old baldy


    DOT already has warranty requirements on pavement, grade, etc. So some of that is already in place. And contractors have been required to come in years later to fix substandard work.

    kevin is just saying that roads cost to much, but that is meaningless until you compare it to something similar that costs less. That is why I used the Dilly Bar analogy as an example of a meaningless claim.

    His comments about the sewer “cement” costs really don’t have merit as the sewers are usually the responsibility of the locals if they occupy DOT ROW. If the costs went up due to error or omission that is the locals problem. If bids came in higher than the estimate, well, that happens. That is why the projects are competitively bid. An item like cement or concrete can have some pretty significant price fluctuations due to supply and demand. Example: This year asphaltic cement dropped 50% due to the fall in oil prices. The same with fuel for asphalt plants. A lot more lane miles can be blacktopped with the same $ this year.

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