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Ask Mr. Answer Person: "Why are there so many gravel roads in Winneshiek County?"

Posted: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 8:58 AM

Kris e-mails: "Dear Mr. Answer Person, Why are there so many gravel roads in Winneshiek County?  Why can't more be paved since states like Minnesota have most roads paved?  How could more become paved in our county?"

Mr. Answer Person says: "Having lived in Wisconsin for many years, Mr. Answer Person knows how enjoyable it is to drive on paved roads in the country. 

But Wisconsin has much higher property taxes than Iowa does.  And paving roads costs money.

The short answer is that voters in Iowa have decided they'd rather have lower taxes than paved roads.  In fact, the gas tax in Iowa--which provides the majority of funds used to pave roads--was last increased in 1989.  The gas tax in Iowa is 9 cents a gallon less than the gas tax in Minnesota--and 12 cents a gallon less than in Wisconsin.  See the correlation here?

So when you ask "How could more (roads) be paved in our county?" the simplest answer is, "By providing more money to pay for that paving."

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