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Low gas tax revenue could affect Wisconsin road funding

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Eau Claire (WQOW)- Funding for Wisconsin road construction could take a hit due to a decrease in money generated by the gas tax.

Due to gas prices dropping and a dip in traffic rates nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation estimate the potential for a 30% drop in gas tax revenue.

Wisconsin's current gas tax of 33 cents per gallon funds a large portion of state highway projects, leaving Department of Transportation officials uncertain of how it could affect their budget.

"We don't currently have a comprehensive picture of how the pandemic will impact transportation funding in Wisconsin or for how long," said Mark Kantola, communications manager of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. "However, the DOT is always reviewing our funding and programming levels and we will be ready to address whatever scenario presents itself."

The state funds roughly 63% of the DOT's $7.2 billion transportation budget. Kantola says the gas tax is not adjusted depending on how gas is priced at the pump.

Evan Hong

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