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Superior Days delegates push for sales tax to fix county highways
Superior Days from several far northern Wisconsin counties are discussing the expansion of Highway 2, and raising sales tax to repair county highways. Brad Phenow reports.
The 29th Annual Superior Days is finished in Madison.
Citizens made efforts to bring important issues of the north to the attention of state legislators. Representative Nick Milroy of South Range says the two main issues involve transportation.
“One of which is the sales tax local highways, but they’ve also been working on getting support for an expansion of U.S. highway two as a four-lane between Superior and Hurley.”
He says the expansion to Highway 2 has been on the Superior Days agenda for a num ber of years.
“It’s important to keep this one on the forefront because often times these big projects aren’t funded unless they gather a lot of support and that can take years.”
Representative Janet Bewley of Ashland says the way the Department of Transportation decides funding on the amount of traffic that use it. Highway 2 isn’t as busy as other state highways.
“We believe highways and transportation is an investment that all parts of the state deserve.”
Along with the expansion of Highway 2, the citizen-lobbyists want a sales tax that would pay for county highway projects. Bewley says funding sources from state and federal are declining leaving county highway projects at a standstill.
“Douglas County wants to have the ability to asses a half of a percent sales tax”
There would need to be a change in the state statute and only counties with less than 100,000 people would be eligible. It’ll also have to be approved by a local referendum.
Bewley says the citizens are in Madison to push for the bill already in the legislature.
“They are here to let the legislature know pick up those bills, get a hearing on them, get them out of committee, and get them on the floor before we adjourn.”
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