News

Press Release: Transportation

For Immediate Release Contact: Chris Lato
Friday, February 10, 2010 (608) 219-7231
 

NEUMANN ANNOUNCES ‘ROADMAP TO REFORM’ FOR RESPONSIBLE TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT

Candidate for Governor pledges to improve infrastructure, encourage economic growth
WAUKESHA, Wis. - Feb. 10, 2010 - With a goal of developing responsible plans geared toward encouraging job growth, candidate for Governor Mark Neumann today unveiled the guiding principles he will use in formulating state transportation policy.

Neumann’s Roadmap to Reform includes: (1) Fiscal Responsibility (2) Economic Development (3) Political Neutrality and (4) Transparency.

“Our transportation infrastructure must be able to not only to meet our daily needs, but also support the long-term growth that creates and retains jobs,” Neumann said. “By establishing a Roadmap to Reform that guides all decisions, I will protect taxpayers while ensuring needed transportation projects are funded for the good of this state.”

  1. Fiscal Responsibility: As Governor, Neumann will reject raids on the transportation fund to pay for any general fund projects. Due to poor financial management, state budgets have raided this fund, while at the same time raising transportation-related fees on state residents. Neumann will also set a limit on the amount of bonding each year to ensure the state isn’t ‘credit card’ spending to the detriment of taxpayers. It shall be the policy of the Neumann administration to use the Governor’s veto authority to enforce this practice if necessary.
  2. Economic Development: Ample transportation funding is critical to advance economic development plans. Highway access is crucial for companies looking to relocate or expand. Therefore, transportation policy must be able to support state agencies that are working to bring jobs toWisconsin. Appropriate funding levels must be available to build the infrastructure.
  3. Political Neutrality: In the Neumann Administration, political favoritism will not dictate the decisions made in transportation policy. Rather, decisions will be based on overall need, cost, and safety requirements.
  4. Transparency: All major transportation decisions will be made in full public view to ensure citizens are adequately notified, with the ability to ask questions and voice concerns. There will be an open bid process used and all hearings regarding the decision process for the allocation of transportation dollars will be open to the public.

“Even though Wisconsin has a ‘segregated’ transportation fund, poor budgeting has resulted in raids and shortfalls,” Neumann noted. “If decisive action is not taken soon, then future generations will be impacted by crumbling infrastructure and constant increases in fees and taxes. As I travel around Wisconsin on my ‘Main Street’ visits, I am seeing firsthand many roads that are in dire need of repair. That cannot continue.”

The Wisconsin transportation fund relies primarily upon a fuel tax and vehicle registration fees. In order to ensure the long-term viability of the fund, as Governor Neumann would propose that existing sales taxes from transportation-related services also be committed to the fund. Neumann would also recognize that additional transportation funding may be needed to spur economic growth. That funding may be made available by reprioritizing other spending practices.

It should be made clear that for companies requiring infrastructure developments in order to locate in Wisconsin, a cost benefit analysis will be completed first and the infrastructure will be provided in the event both the company and Wisconsin taxpayers will benefit. The cost benefit analysis shall include a review of jobs created and taxes that will ultimately be paid in Wisconsin.

Regarding passenger rail, Neumann noted he would apply the four principles outlined above. “If an economically viable plan is developed in which rail users are paying for the system and new tax hikes are not part of the equation, then it deserves serious consideration,” Neumann said.

 

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2120 Pewaukee Road, Suite 150 ~ Waukesha, WI 53188 ~ (262) 349-9498 Paid for by Mark Neumann for Governor, Matt Neumann, Treasurer