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Poll: Wisconsin drivers willing to consider toll-roads

Toll booth.
Toll booth.

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  It's been more than a decade since former Governor Jim Doyle declared that Wisconsin would have toll roads quote, "over my dead body." Now, with transportation revenues dwindling, a new poll shows that most Wisconsinites are at least willing to put up with tollways. 56-percent of 805 registered voters in the latest Marquette Law School poll said they're willing to use tolls to help pay for new-and-improved roads. 42-percent are against it.

A state panel is looking for acceptable road funding sources, at a time when gas tax revenues are harder to come by due to today's fuel-efficient cars. 71-percent in the Marquette poll agreed that the economic benefits of good highways outweigh taxpayer costs. Still, 58-percent said they're against higher gas taxes and registration fees. 65-percent oppose more borrowing for road projects -- and the same percentage don't want money diverted from other state programs.

D-O-T Secretary Mark Gottlieb says his agency needs an extra $600-million to do all the road work that's planned for the two-years ending in mid-2017. Back in 2012, G-O-P Assembly Speaker Robin Vos suggested toll roads near the state's borders, where more out-of-staters would help pick up the tab. Now, Governor Scott Walker is talking about a new tax structure for the next state budget that would not raise people's overall tax burdens.