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Legislators seek ways to finance new and improved roads

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Wisconsin motorists were spared of a gas tax increase in the new state budget.

But it didn't fix the roads and legislators are going back to the drawing board to find ways to raise the needed money.

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The governor's proposed oil profits' tax would have raised more than $300 million for new and improved highways.

But lawmakers took that out. And they scrapped most of an alternative from Senate Democrats to drop the state's entire tax break on capital gains which would have raised about the same amount as the oil tax.

Now, former GOP Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch suggests using part of the sales tax revenues from new vehicles and car parts for new roads.

The lawmaker from West Salem also says there should be "serious consideration" to having very limited tolls, perhaps on the Interstate from the Illinois border to Milwaukee and possibly Madison.

Rep. Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, said the state was lucky to get almost a $0.5 billion in federal stimulus money for transportation improvements. Still, she says other revenues have to be found and the capital gains issue could be revisited.

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