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Wisconsin: Is It Time to Replace the Gas Tax with a Sales Tax on Gasoline?


 Is is time to say goodbye to Wisconsin's gas tax?

Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has suggested replacing the state’s gasoline tax with a sales tax on gas. The proposal is young and lacks details, such as how consumers would be affected by the change. Yet the governor says that looking at it is “realistic.”

In addition to more traditional gasoline and diesel powered vehicles, drivers today are getting behind the wheels of electric, hybrid, and natural gas vehicles. As a result, revenue from the gasoline tax is declining. Switching to a sales tax on gasoline could be one way to help combat the projected $680 million shortfall in the state’s transportation fund (Wisconsin State Journal).

Governor Walker: “You’re trying to get the most equitable way to say, ‘How do you cover the people who actually use our roads and bridges and highways? If there’s multiple ways that you charge up or fuel your vehicle, then there should be an equitable way to say it’s a sales tax on gas or it’s a sales tax on electricity or it’s a sales tax on natural gas.'”

The governor may not be the one who gets to decide. Any movement to impose sales tax on gasoline may accompany him out of office, should gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke (D) be elected in his stead. She has firmly rejected a sales tax on gas.

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photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc


Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.