On Tuesday, the Joint Finance Committee is finalizing details on the 2017-2019 State Budget. The largest outstanding items include tax policy changes and the transportation budget.
GOP legislative leaders were looking at a transportation package that would keep the I-39/90 expansion project moving forward, but not fund I-94 east-west or the north leg of the Zoo Interchange in this budget as they try to wrap up a final plan, according to multiple sources.
Some, though, warned delays to I-94 east-west could generate blowback from southeastern Wisconsin Republicans.
The sources said those talks, which have not been finalized, were taking place within a framework that includes borrowing about $150 million for road projects in the budget and imposing a new $100 fee on hybrid and electric cars that could help pay off the debt service on that borrowing.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates such a fee would pull in about $7.6 million in its first full year of implementation. The agency said typically around $8 million in annualized debt payments cover $100 million in borrowing over 20 years.
As part of the final transportation discussions, GOP lawmakers were also trying to put the finishing touches on local aids while there has been a late push to pump more money into bridge repair.
Along with transportation, lawmakers have to finalize a tax package, and the sources said discussions were ongoing about a push to repeal the alternative minimum tax. Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, said this week he was still pushing for an AMT repeal that he said carries a price tag of $6 million.
Gov. Scott Walker had originally proposed $204.5 million in income tax cuts. But GOP lawmakers have shown little interest in that plan as they looked instead to fund a partial repeal of the personal property tax and other priorities.