PolitiFact Wisconsin: Has Governor Walker increased roadwork debt?

Posted at 6:46 PM, Jun 13, 2018

How the state spends your tax dollars when it comes to paying for road construction is expected to be a big issue this election year.

That's why PolitiFact Wisconsin checked a claim by one of the ten Democratic candidates for governor to see if it really adds up.

Democratic candidate for governor Kelda Helen Roys claims Governor Scott Walker is running up the state's credit card when it comes to paying for roads 

"Roys says Wisconsin is spending twice as much on debt service for roadwork under Scott Walker," said Tom Kertscher with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says the state uses tax dollars to pay for road construction but some of the money is also used to pay off money borrowed for road 

"The amount of debt payments has been an issue because the governor has decided he will not support an increase in the gas tax or an increase in vehicle fees," said Kertscher. "So, that has put more pressure on borrowing in order to keep road projects going." 

PolitiFact Wisconsin looked at the transportation budget numbers. Under Governor Jim Doyle's 2010-11 budget the percentage of debt was 11.5 percent. 

Governor Walker's budget for next year jumps to 20.9 percent.

"The 21 percent figure under Walker is an estimate," said Kertscher, "however, it's based on his current state budget which is law so that figure is not expected to change much, if at all." 

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated Roys' statement Mostly True.