While he believes it should be the only part of the solution, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, says he is in favor of increasing the gas tax to pay for road improvements.
“I will say, for our roads, I support raising the gas tax,” Vos said at a budget listening session in Union Grove on Thursday. “I think we need to raise revenue. I support tolling; I support any revenue option that says we’re going to pay cash instead of borrowing.”
You are not going to save your way out of it; you are not going to be able to borrow your way out,” Vos said. “The only way that we can (pay for roads) is to figure out how do we continue to find efficiencies, and the (Department of Transportation) has done an excellent job of finding efficiencies.”
“I think (the gas tax) has to be part of the equation, but I’m just not so sure it’s the entire answer,” Vos said. “But for the short term we’ve got to have some way to do it until we could do, perhaps, tolling, or determine some kind of a way to charge electric vehicles more, because they’re not paying anything for the roads.”
While the use of electric vehicles continues to increase, Vos said the state needs to consider fees for electric vehicles that don’t pay at the pump. Vos said some estimates claim as many as a third of cars on the road in 2030 will be electric.
“If one-third of the cars pay nothing toward for the maintenance of those roads, we’re going to have a huge crisis that we can’t pay for,” Vos said. “Because you can’t just pay a gas tax.”