Boost in fees sought to fund Wisconsin roadwork

| 11/28/2006

It could cost some commercial drivers and other residents in Wisconsin more to register their vehicles if a state Department of Transportation budget proposal is adopted. Large truck owners appear not to be affected by the proposed fee hike.

The agency is eyeing up to a 65 percent increase in truck and other vehicle registration fees in its 2007-2009 biennial budget request. Higher driver's license costs also are being considered.

Gov. Jim Doyle and the state's Legislature would need to approve the changes before they could take effect.

Revenue from the higher registration fees, which some have estimated will total $208 million for two years, would go for work on Interstate 94 from Milwaukee to the Illinois border, The Associated Press reported. Funds also would be made available for maintaining the current highway system and local aid programs.

The driver's license fee increase would be earmarked for costs associated with new federal requirements designed to make the cards more secure.

Frank Busalacchi, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, cited higher fuel prices that have driven up the costs of many goods and services for the increased fee proposals, The AP reported.

Trucks weighing between 6,001 pounds and 8,000 pounds would have their registration fees increase from $77.50 to $112. Fees for trucks weighing between 4,501 pounds and 6,000 pounds would rise from $61.50 to $89. Smaller trucks would face an $80 fee, up from $48.50.

Car registration fees would climb from $55 to $80. Driver's license fees would increase from $24 to $34.