You Can Fool Some of the People…

By June 25, 2007Energy

Wisconsin’s Senate will be considering Gov. Hugo Doyle’s budget Tuesday, complete with his 2.5 percent tax on each barrel of oil sold in Wisconsin, ridiculous and unconstitutional because he would make it a crime for oil companies to pass on the tax increase to consumers. (Previous posts here and here.)

The only effect Doyle’s populist anti-big-oil pandering has had so far is to undermine his own credibility. The public sure isn’t buying the idea that the oil companies would be stuck absorbing the costs, or so at least indicates a recent survey of 600 Wisconsinites conducted by the Wood Communications Group (no relation).

Overall, 82% of those who responded said consumers would ultimately pay the tax, 14% said oil companies would pay it, and 4% weren’t sure or didn’t know, Wood said. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4%, Wood said. Men were more likely than women to predict that the tax would boost gas-pump prices, he added.

Groups opposing the gross receipts tax on oil companies insist that it would amount to a 5- to 7-cent increase in the gas tax, now 32.9-cents per gallon. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, it would raise $157.2 million a year to pay for highways and other transportation programs, although opponents are expected to immediately sue to block it.

Did we write Hugo Doyle? We meant Jim, Governor Jim Doyle.

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